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Think Local First combines cash mob with bar crawl in Petworth

Wednesday - 10/16/2013, 5:26pm  ET

Nonprofit Think Local First is looking to expand the reach of its CashMob concept Friday with a CashMob Crawl that will hit a total of nine businesses in one neighborhood.

Previous mobs have simply swarmed one particular business on a given day to help boost sales and visibility for one retailer. (My predecessor Missy Frederick noted the rise of the concept in 2011.)

But the organization is debuting the "crawl" concept this Friday. From 5-7 p.m., participants will hit up several businesses along Upshur Street in Petworth — including two restaurants. Brick-and-mortar participants are Willow DC, Annie's Ace Hardware, Petworth Community Market, Domku and Petworth Citizen.

The restaurants will also play host to four pop-up shops by Made in D.C. members: Cherry Blossom Creative, Carmen Eliam Jewelry, Grey Moggie Press and Junius Cold Brew Coffee Company.

The time for the CashMob Crawl set squarely during happy hour has worked in the past, said Sara Pierce with Think Local First.

"We think it's a good time for people," she said. "And with the restaurants involved, everyone likes doing food specials and drink specials."

The mobs are part of TLF's Shop Local program and don't usually include restaurants, but the group felt that they would make great hosts for the pop-up shops, said Pierce.

The group hopes the number of retailers — including a media sponsor in Elevation D.C. — will help build the number of participants.

"We're all promoting it and sharing it out to our networks, so hope that it will draw an even larger crowd," Pierce said.

There are currently more than 50 people signed up to participate on Facebook.

© 2013 American City Business Journals, Inc.