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Have Bar, Will Travel

Mon, 08/08/2022 - 11:57
Three locals, from left, Brinn Foley, Quinton Burke, and Jillian Rennar, are pouring their efforts into the Vintage Rose mobile bar service.
Mary Godfrey

The four-wheeled future of catering is not limited to just food. The Vintage Rose Tap Truck is proof that bars and restaurants aren't the only way to deliver liquid hospitality on the South Fork.

Brinn Foley and Quinton Burke of East Hampton and Jillian Rennar of Montauk bought into the beverage truck trend in October 2021, hiring Vintage Truck Purveyors of New Jersey to repurpose a 1950s Italian delivery truck into a cute mobile bar that puts homemade cocktails and top names in wine and beer on tap.

It was a natural way for Ms. Foley to work with Mr. Burke, her boyfriend, and Ms. Rennar, her bestie. "All of us grew up in the service industry and have a great appreciation for it," she said, and they're having a great time doing it.

Mr. Burke also works in restaurants and caddies at a private golf course, while Ms. Rennar is an owner of two Montauk businesses, the Candied Anchor and Mako Vintage, and Ms. Foley is a real estate agent with Douglas Elliman. "We said, 'We have some free time. Let's do this, too,' " Ms. Foley joked.

Mr. Burke, who is originally from South Africa, creates the original cocktails and mocktails that Vintage Rose serves. What "really brings them to life," he says, are fresh ingredients like syrups and juices. He gives an example: an orange jalapeno margarita that uses his own, homemade jalapeno and lime agave, with muddled fresh oranges and jalapenos that "really pop."

Ms. Rennar works directly with clients to book parties, while Ms. Foley handles the day-of-event logistics. They use local wines and beers wherever possible, partnering with Sam's Beverage and Race Lane Liquors in East Hampton Village. They also incorporate design and decor elements like floral displays, signs, and balloon arches, and can accommodate customers' needs for various kinds of glasses and cups.

Food and beverage bloggers say the mobile hospitality business has advantages over investing in opening a restaurant. It requires less overhead and up-front cash, and owners can be more nimble, niche, and experimental with menus. There's ease of compliance when Covid-19 restrictions come into play, and the logistics of traveling from event to event is a built-in way to advertise.

"It gives us creative freedom behind the bar -- or taps, if you will -- to create unique and delicious cocktails and drinks, as well as in front of it," Ms. Foley said. "We can create a beautiful space in a unique location a typical bar wouldn't be able to cater to."

Take a look at Vintage Rose's Instagram feed, @vintagerosehamptons, and your mouth will start to water at images of salt-rimmed margarita glasses, condensation on the sides of cold beer and bubbly, and fruit and candy as garnish. Vintage Rose also serves non-alcoholic and kid-friendly options like lemonade, chocolate milk, and Shirley Temples.

Business is steady and the trio have commitments already planned into 2023, though there are still a few open dates for fall bookings.

Being a beverage service means Vintage Rose complements more than it competes with fellow food purveyors like crepe carts, mobile pizza ovens, ice cream vendors, and the diverse range of food trucks that pull up to festivals and private events alike.

"A lot of people are moving this way for events, and we're here for it," Ms. Foley said. "It's a little more interactive, and everyone is so in love with it that it's validating. People are saying, 'I want this in my front yard. Can we park this in my front yard, please?' "
 


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