May Bells Mobile Bar is the latest portable vendor cruising the Tri-state. The light blue, ‘68 Scotty Serro camper is all dolled up in a rustic, charming style to provide farm-fresh beverages everywhere it goes.
Meggie Wainscott Martin is May Bells' director of operations and the person behind the wheel of the vintage RV. She posts up at private and public events around town to serve fresh, fruity mocktails, cocktails, iced tea, and cold brew coffee from Carabello Coffee. After growing up in her dad's restaurants—Greyhound Tavern and Tousey House Tavern—she decided to hit the open road with her mobile bar.
MAY BELLS’ PAST & PRESENT
The Marian Historic Venue, which neighbors the Tousey House in Burlington, is owned and operated by Meggie’s family. The southern home-turned-event space dates back to 1886, and once belonged to Meggie’s grandmother, Marian, for whom it’s named.
“She was the ultimate southern belle: hospitable and, you know, always entertaining,” Meggie recalls.
May Bells’ logo features Marian’s favorite flower, the lily of the valley, which is also referred to as a May bell. Since it first opened in June 2019 as an extension of the event center, it regularly travels to other locations around the region when it isn't serving drinks at a Marian occasion. Nicole Hart, May Bell's lead event coordinator, goes along for the ride when May Bells is on the move.
The mixology movement known as “Garden to Glass,” which centers around using local ingredients and herbs to make mixed and spiritless drinks, inspired Meggie’s drink menu. She grows many of her ingredients on her farm in Boone County, while flavors and produce she doesn’t grow herself are sourced from surrounding farms to create simple syrups from scratch.
The camper itself has local roots, too—Meggie bought it from a seller in Lebanon, OH. Customers often ask if it's a reproduction due to its picture-perfect look, but it is, in fact, an original camper from the 1960s. Meggie says the renovation added fresh paint and a customized interior to turn it into the beautiful, drivable bar it is today. (Even the hubcaps are authentic, people.)
You can rent the camper for events like wedding receptions, showers, happy hours, or even just the camper itself if you’re looking to add some vintage flair to a photoshoot. May Bells stocks alcoholic mixes during private events, but it can also whip up tasty mocktails for public outings. It partners with locally owned D.E.P.’s Fine Wine & Spirits to make the mixed drinks when you rent the mobile bar.
It also pops up at events like the Crestview Hills Farmers’ Market, the DCCH Farmers Market of Fort Mitchell, and the Burlington Antique Show. If you’re lucky, you’ll find May Bells parked around local neighborhoods on sunny days, like when I spotted it in Ludlow one Saturday as you’ll see in the photo gallery above.
And when you do come across the blue traveler, be sure to stop by and get a taste of one of its light, refreshing concoctions yourself, because a picture doesn’t quite quench your thirst the same way as sipping the real deal does.
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If you’d like to see them in action, you can buy tickets to their Twilight Farmer’s Dinner Series at The Marian on September 13, 2019 at 7 PM, and on October 11, 2019 at 7 PM.