we here in portland have been wondering similar things about meetup.com. it appears to be, um, a little tricky to suggest a new venue. (starb*cks appears as options often here, but luckily so do more independent places.)
if/when someone (including us) figure out how to suggest a new place, lets do just that. i kinda fear it is the money-driven part of meetup, but am not 100% sure on this.