Salut on Wheels

Raise a glass and impress your guests with one of these chic mobile bars. Written by Giuseppa Nadrowski

FROM OUTDOOR weddings to bridal showers and bachelorette parties, mobile bars are rolling into events all over Michigan. Here, we’ve rounded up seven distinct mobile bars — think vintage horse trailers, revamped campers, custom trailers — each with its own unique design and offerings, and each ready to take your event to the next level.

Byrdie Bar

Byrdie Bar may have that chic vintage look, but don’t be fooled. Owner and founder Kristine Mannino had the luxe trailer custom built into her ideal mobile bar, one that also features a cool back bar with three stools. “I got to decide every inch of her and really bring everything I knew from brick-and-mortar bars into mobile form,” Mannino says. “The bar is the number one most visited spot at parties, and far too often people underestimate the importance of high-level cocktail and drink service. That’s where we come in.” A favorite of guests, Byrdie Bar’s Signature Cocktails are a feature in some packages. “They’re made to order with fresh juice, handmade syrups, and a mix of ingredients like herbs, bitters, different rim garnishes, and more to really stand out. Anyone can go to a bar and order a vodka soda, but a Fig and Honey Margarita — you’re only getting that
at Byrdie Bar,” she says. Fun add-ons include items such as yard games, balloon garlands, and a cocktail lounge.

Pricing: From $995

Service area: 50 miles of travel from Berkley is included in the base price, with a $2/mile surcharge beyond that zone.

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The Black Barrel Bar

“Our renovated 1971 Airstream Land Yacht mobile bar shed its shiny sheen and traded its camping gear for cocktail glasses in 2019,” says Gwen Vryhof Bultema, owner of The Black Barrel Bar. Known for its sophisticated design, the handsome bar features handcrafted walnut cabinetry, stainless steel appliances as well as a double tab, half barrel keg system and cooler. “My husband and I are in the hospitality and service industries,” Vryhof Bultema says. “He and I are both passionate about creating space and opportunity for individuals and communities to connect. The Black Barrel Bar allows us to serve and to cultivate relationships with folks from a variety of backgrounds, offering them a unique, fun, and elevated experience where they feel seen and heard and loved.” Packages include full bar service (think the bar, the bartenders, the glassware, and the alcohol). Bar-only rentals are also available with a licensed and approved caterer or venue to serve.

Pricing: From $4,000

Service area: The Black Barrel Bar serves Grand Rapids and its surrounding areas, with occasional events beyond West Michigan.

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VIA Bar Detroit

Unlike traditional mobile bars, VIA Bar Detroit is transforming the event scene with its retro-luxe 1959 camper that features a fully furnished social lounge for up to six guests, dual service windows, “and the opportunity to partake in spirits of your choice with our unique BYOB concept.” Founded by Kiya Barden in July 2021, VIA’s rental packages include outside decor risers, four wooden chairs for an outside lounge area, two stainless steel beverage bowls, floral décor and disposable drinkware. Licensed bartenders are available at an additional surcharge. Additional upgrades include VIA’s luxury picnic setup (suitable for up to 12 guests). “I travel abroad quite often and would always see bar carts and unique event details,” Barden says. “I wanted to create something similar, but provide a dual experience — inside with the social lounge, and outside with a modern, picturesque aesthetic.”

Pricing: From $1,100

Service area: Rental packages include 20 miles of travel from downtown Detroit. Long range travel outside of the metro area may also be possible.

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Happy Bar Services 

Happy Bar Services offers two charming vintage mobile bars, one of which was converted from a 1978 Champion Horse trailer and the other, a 1967 Pathfinder Camper. “We are one of the first mobile bars in Michigan, launching in 2019 in the West Michigan area,” says Wendy VanWagoner, CEO of Happy Bar Services. In addition to bartending at their mobile bars, Happy Bar Services is also “happy to bartend from the venue or client-provided bars.” Packages include transportation, set up and take down of the bar, one professional certified bartender, ice, bar tools, cups, cocktail napkins, garnishes, mixers, and juices, as well as assistance in menu planning, an alcohol shopping list, a standard countertop drink menu, and décor add-ons.

Pricing: From $1,300

Services Area: Happy Bar Services operates within a two-hour travel distance from Rockford, with occasional travel beyond its standard service area.

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Sidecar Pony Bar

Since 2015, Sidecar Bartending has provided “everything needed for a full-service bar, including professional bartenders, bar options, mixers, garnishes, glassware, ice, among other offerings,” says owner Kathy Sullivan. “Our signature cocktails made with fresh squeezed juices and homemade syrups are always a hit at events.” Among her standout offerings is the Sidecar Pony Bar, a vintage 1970 horse trailer that can be used for both indoor and outdoor events thanks to its petite size. The Pony Bar includes five hours of service, two bartenders, and two taps for beer, wine or cocktails. Sidecar also offers standard 6-foot bars for regular bar service and the Sidecar Bubbly bar — a chic champagne bar. “When we started there were no other mobile bars in Michigan, and we were one of the first in the Midwest,” Sullivan says. “We have grown so much we are now adding additional mobile bars, kegged cocktails, mixers and Sidecar Bar-in-a-Jar Infusions to our services.”

Pricing: From $300

Service Area: Sidecar serves events in Southeastern Michigan.

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The Mini Bar Detroit

Opened in February 2022, The Mini Bar Detroit has taken the area by storm with its sleek black 1977 converted horse trailer. Owners, fiancés, and “built-in bartenders” Jordan Acord and Dani Diehl (who have their own big day set for June 16, 2023!) spent years in the food and beverage industry before deciding to launch their own venture. “We love to be versatile by accommodating any and all requests. Our clients can have a peace of mind in knowing that we are more than just a bar service,” Diehl says. With the interior featuring enough space for two people to bartend, two lines can be formed when grabbing a drink. “Two lines allow for the initial rush of cocktail hour to be cut in half. All your guests should have a drink in their hand within the first 15 minutes of cocktail hour,” Diehl says. Package extras include offerings such as coffee service, soda service, yard games (think Giant Jenga, cornhole and Connect 4), a luxe champagne shelf, and coming soon, a cocktail lounge.

Pricing: From $800. Packages range from $3 per person to $7 per person based on what experience you are looking for.

Service Area: Metro Detroit and surrounding areas.

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Sip Mobile Bar

Founded in 2020, owner Haley Zwerk of Vassar-based Sip Mobile Bar has just launched a more affordable self-pickup and drop-off option. A horse trailer turned sleek white cocktail bar, this brand-new offering — now the face of Sip Mobile Bar — is “the ultimate luxury,” Zwerk says. Features include a beautiful tile backsplash, quartz and butcherblock countertops, two tap CO2 system, and carefully selected fixtures and décor. “Our high-end finishes and on-trend décor along with our reputation for providing an exceptional customer experience makes Sip Mobile Bar stand out amongst our competitors,” Zwerk says. Nearly 500 vintage glasses in a variety of colors are also offered
as an add-on option. Delivery of Sip Mobile Bar is also available for an additional cost.

Pricing: From $600-$800

Service Area: Sip Mobile Bar serves all of Michigan.

For more information, visit