Soon, San Diego will host the tea party of all tea parties. We’re talking about “The Alice”, an immersive pop-up cocktail experience. Guests will be able to sip Alice-in-Wonderland-inspired cocktails in a fantasy world where they can play croquet with a flamingo, paint roses red and solve riddles. And that’s just one example. Portable bartending bars are popping up in cities all across the country.
Safe Summer Escapes
Like many other restaurant owners and operators Keena Scott, owner of mobile bartending company Neat Pours Detroit has taken advantage of this new COVID-19 trend. After being cooped up at home for months, people want to host parties while staying safe in a contact-free, outdoor environment. So they’re hiring mobile bartending and catering companies. Scott’s business has been bartending at parties every single weekend this summer. Other restaurants and bars have added portable bars to their business as dining has moved outdoors due to COVID-19 precautions. Many businesses like San Diego’s Del’s Hideout even offer outdoor flatscreens so bar-goers can watch Padres baseball games with friends and family.
Why Go Mobile?
Since mobile bars are usually hired for corporate gatherings, weddings, festivals, and other large events, owners bring their bar to the crowds instead of trying to draw crowds to their bar. This also means mobile bars don’t have to deal with the slow nights that traditional bars often experience. Traditional bar owners may pay high rent and spend a lot of their time either at the bar, tending bar, or dealing with legal paperwork. However, a mobile bar owner can make their mobile bar business a side hustle. Many mobile bar owners work a typical 9-5 before making side money on the weekends.
Thinking of starting your own mobile bar business? Planning to add a mobile outdoor bar to your establishment? In either case, there are a few important things you should consider before you dive into the portable bar business. You’ll need to start with the basics: obtaining permits and insurance. Most states including California, Texas, Ohio, and New York won’t give a liquor license to a mobile bar. Luckily there’s a workaround: you can still serve alcohol if you’re bartending at private events. You’ll also need to make sure your portable bar complies with FDA food regulations.
Secondly, you’ll need to brand your bar. That means paint, signage, lighting, trim, backsplash, plants, etc. Create a bar that’s photo- and social-media worthy and fits your brand. The most successful bars have imaginative, memorable branding like “The Alice” pop-up bar. Anything is possible from a tiki bar on wheels to a luxury cocktail bar. Take your cue from these popular pop-up bars. Some mobile bars also provide seating so you might consider bringing an outdoor sofa or dining set to events.
Customize Your Portable Bar Are great ideas for a pop-up bar already popping into your head? Well, before you go too far down the rabbit hole, you’ll want to pick the right portable bar for your business. Our Professional Portable Bar and Compact Bar are two great options. Durable and flexible both fold to a fraction of their size for