Retro Airstream transforms into mobile bar, thanks to Mill Valley man
Source: Marin Independent Journal (original article)
Author: Vicki Larson
With decades of experience in the bar and restaurant industry, helping to launch San Francisco’s Foreign Cinema, Cyrus and the Mission Bowling Club among others, it’s no surprise that Greg Medow is always on the lookout for new ways to help people have fun.
But nothing is more exciting for him right now than his latest idea, the Bar Car, a renovated 1965 Airstream trailer that he converted into a fully stocked mobile bar, complete with a ping pong table, bean bag toss game and iPod-friendly sound system.
Medow found the old Airstream shell in New York three years ago. It took about 2½ years to customize it with stainless steel cabinets, dimmable lights and a mahogany bar. It made quite an impression as it made the cross-country trip behind his RAM 1500 truck, says Medow, 47, who owns three bars in the Bay Area.
The Bar Car’s debut was at a Google happy hour a few weeks ago. “It’s very unique, and when you see it, it’s beautiful and awesome and cool,” he says.
Medow lives in Mill Valley with his wife and two children, 10 months and 2½ years.
Q: What made you think of the Bar Car?
A: About three years ago I was looking to do something new and different, and the whole food truck trend was picking up at the time and I thought, why isn’t anyone doing a mobile bar? A food truck is a big, boxy thing and I thought that’s kind of boring to do a mobile bar. I did some research online and came across Airstreams and I thought, wow, this could be really interesting.
Q: Why is fun so important to you?
A: I’m a pretty social person and outgoing person. I get sincere joy in making other people happy. I’m a peddler of food and beverage, which A — people need, and B — people want. When you can have fun and it’s easy, that’s a win right there.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I love checking out new spots. And I love the independent small restaurant or bar where it’s someone’s first time doing a project, to see how they go about doing it from a design point of view, from a menu point of view, from a pricing point of view, from target marketing, what you’re trying to convey. I love all that.
Q: What was it like driving the Airstream cross-country?
A: People were honking while I’m driving it. At every rest stop it took me an hour and a half to get out of there because everyone wanted to see it. One guy in New Jersey was like, “I want a drink right now. Open up the bar.” He was insistent that I serve him a drink at a rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike. I thought he was going to kill me if I didn’t.
Q: Is there a bit of nostalgia going on with a ’65 Airstream?
A: I think people look back and think, that would be a really cool time to live. People just like to get back to the past and like to try old things and bring them back new again. I’m sort of pulling at the heart strings of people.