Use old Yelp reviews to find photos of closed locations

Yelp was a review site many used in the 2000s and 2010s. It was created to allow online users to look into a business to see if it rated well, without having to go into the desired location. Usually, most angry customers would go to Yelp to review-bomb places. Having a high Yelp review was amazing to maintain.

Yelp is still a thing today, but it’s redundant to use when Google Maps has built-in reviews. Many still rely on Yelp reviews for it’s user-generated opinions to make food and shopping choices. Alternatively I found another way to use Yelp as a nostalgia tool.

How to use Yelp to find Addresses to old closed locations

Generally website’s like Yelp and Google Map Reviews will remove old locations entirely from their services to prevent people from driving to old abandoned stores. You can find locations using Dead Links, links that are still searchable on search engines like Google. Using this search method will allow you to see information for a closed businesses.

Yelp has been real helpful for finding old hometown locations that I used to visit. For example, check out this old Arctic Circle location found in Portland, Oregon that is long gone. Using Google Maps, you can enter the address and use older street views to see the location for yourself.

Few of the locations I’m interested to try and find on Google Maps are smaller and a lot harder to track down. Sometime’s you can’t search on maps for locations. Google Reviews may only show a few locations like Toys R Us, while Yelp will show every location on Google search. You probably know where a lot of your favorite childhood locations are, and don’t have to look up the addresses. If you need to, Yelp is the method I would recommend. Yelp has been more consistent with it’s indexing of old locations than GOOGLE!

Using Yelp to find old images

Going through hundreds of Toys R Us locations on Yelp I ran into a lot of photo’s I have never seen before. Pinterest photos can be limited by it’s sheer volume, and relies more on its image data over textual data. So even if I wanted to see a Lego section of Toys R Us, it wouldn’t give me search results. I sadly noticed a trend where many photos provided on Yelp were uploaded after 2014. Trying to find older photos, while not impossible, will take a lot of searching.

Yelp isn’t Even the best review platform for nostalgia images. It’s still Google Maps. Google Map Reviews photos almost always has a much larger volume of photos compared to Yelp. That’s not always the case as with these few examples.

Austin Texas Toys R Us
Yelp : 10 photos
Google: 131 photos

Jacksonville Florida Toys R Us
Yelp: 77 photos
Google: Unable to find

Portland Oregon Toys R Us
Yelp: 15 photos
Google: 19 photos

While Yelp was great for Stores like Toys R Us, it was terrible for Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. This is attributed to less widespread use of cellphones. Yelp is a useful tool for finding addresses and potentially some old photos from your old childhood favorites.


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