The Whining Pig wins Best of Yelp in Phoenix

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- They're immediate, they can be anonymous, and they can make or break a business.

A local business is swimming in positive feedback through Yelp.

The owners of The Whining Pig said they're excited to be “Best of Yelp in Phoenix."

"They called us and told us that we were No. 1 and that we were the only bar with more than 50 reviews and five stars," said owner Greg Malkin. "My response was, 'Did we win anything?' They were like, 'No, you didn't win anything.' I was like, 'OK, fine.' "

Malkin opened The Whining Pig almost a year ago and said he never imagined becoming this successful.

"It was really cool and humbling,” he said. “I was really happy about that."

Customers said it's no surprise The Whining Pig is “Best of Yelp in Phoenix.”

"Love the local feel of it,” said customer Carrie McCoy.

"I really like the vibe in here," said Katy Dorrell.

"I come here because the selection of wine and beer is amazing, the prices are outstanding, the hosts are always friendly," said Pat Giglio, another customer.

Giglio said he even likes the intimacy of the bar.

"You're shoulder-to-shoulder with people, so you end up talking to people much quicker,” he said.

But Yelp critics said reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, accusing the company of manipulating reviews.

"I think Yelp is too big to manipulate on a very large scale," Malkin said. "If you talk to them about, like, 'Yeah, I'll advertise with you if you fix this terrible review that's completely BS,' they will be like, ‘No, we don't do that.' "

Yelp sent this statement:

"We are pleased the appeals court upheld our earlier victory in this case. We have always said the claims were without merit, as proven by an independent academic study, and we are pleased the courts continue to agree.

"Millions of consumers rely on Yelp every day because they trust our content, which is why businesses can't pay to remove or alter their reviews."

Meanwhile, Malkin said he hopes the good reviews keep coming in for his business.

"I'm really appreciative of all of my customers and the people around here that support us," he said.