‘Barrel Mobile Bar’ Raises the Bar for Catered Bashes

Sep 05, 2018
Supplied Photo

Encased in a pearly shell and bedecked with vintage, wooden accents, Connor Devaney’s mobile bar is the hippest buggy to hit Long Beach Island since the humble ice cream truck.

The words “The Barrel Mobile Bar” are etched simply along the sides and rear of the repurposed horse trailer, which opens like a treasure chest to reveal reclaimed wood paneling and countertops. Inside and along the back wall, sliced cucumbers, limes, lemons and peppers fill clusters of mason jars, promising taste-bud tickling libations. String lights drape the interior and emanate a dreamy, amber glow. The only remnant of its previous life as a two-horse trailer is the mounted painting of a white steed, trotting gaily through a forest.

Devaney, a Beach Haven resident, thought up the idea for The Barrel Mobile Bar after his return home from Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, where he worked as a bartender for a year. During his time in the Caribbean, Devaney learned the ins and outs of mixology and wanted to bring this newfound knowledge home. He devised a plan for his own mobile bar last winter and set to work in early spring.

His goal was to establish a signature cocktail experience on the Island, something quite foreign in the land of Rum and Cokes and Coronas. “A lot of the bars up here are just like beer and wine. And I wanted to bring that experience up here,” he said.

With a mobile bar, Devaney wants to provide clients with an intimate, laidback, custom-drinking experience. “At a bar here, you’re pressured to get the drinks in and out,” said Devaney. The Barrel Mobile Bar, however, allows partygoers to watch as their bartender blends an amalgam of flavors and garnishes to create custom, delicious beverages.

Drawing inspiration from other mobile bar fleets from around the country, Devaney combined his favorite elements to form his own, unique brand. Calling on close friends to aid in carpentry and logo design, his resulting product is a delightfully simple, beach-meets-rustic-farm creation.

The watering hole on wheels traverses the Island, carting its craft cocktail making wares from party to party. From backyard BBQs and wedding receptions, to parties, and tailgates at professional sporting events, Devaney hopes to serve a diverse array of events.

The party doesn’t always have to include alcohol. “I have a tap system installed and have a deal with How Ya Brewin’, so I use their cold brew,” said Devaney.

Since throwing open his trailer doors in June, Devaney has done a handful of events, including the Union Market’s birthday party, a David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation fundraiser, a shark-themed party and a Phillies tailgate outside Citizens Bank Park.

To reserve the mobile bar’s service, clients simply provide the alcohol and Devaney does the rest.

“It’s hassle free for people,” he said. “I take care of clean up, I take care of set up. All you have to do is order the alcohol. That’s it.”

Though the Beach Haven resident plans on keeping his venture small so as to grow his following and preserve the novelty of his services, he eventually hopes to expand his list of offerings. “I actually went the other night and got a trike that I’m going to convert into another mobile bar.”

“It’s like a Worksman, almost like an old ice cream truck where you have the big cooler up front. I’m putting a tap system up front, and then in the back I’ll have a place to put anything else, like wine.”

In the short time he’s been operating, Devaney says he’s already received positive feedback. “People have been loving it so far.”

For more information on The Barrel Mobile Bar, go to thebarrelmobilebar.com.

— Sarah Hodgson

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