A couple of years back, Josh Wolkon went to Thailand seeking inspiration for Ace, his ping-pong-hall-meet-Asian-eatery concept. On that trip, the restaurateur, who also owns Steuben's and Vesta, got a bonus idea that is now reality: a bar bus! The Ace Bar Bus is now parked in Uptown, on the patio of its big brother restaurant, waiting for a ride to the next party.
Penny, as the bus is affectionately nicknamed, is a 1978 former cow-printed Volkswagen passenger van that got a thorough makeover. It was stripped of two rows of seats and clad in a waterproof lining. The roof was cut down and not the top opens up to reveal a fully functioning, stainless steel bar.
The bus has two batteries and can run totally on its own or it can be plugged into a power source. There is a sound system and waterproof speakers that go on top of the bus that was wrapped in its current red, black, and white coat by Harmonic Design.
This miniature craft cocktail bar on wheels is suitable for two professional bartenders to serve beer, wine and crafted cocktails. Penny is available for private parties and events, taking the bar program ran by bartender Randy Layman on the road. The offerings include the Steuben's classic menu as well as a tropical inspired drink menu rooted in the drinks from Ace.