Over the past year we have witnessed many small businesses become victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. The doors at some of our favorite local places have closed. But one local bar has found success by taking its business to the streets, introducing the Julep-To-Go Truck.
The beverage delivery truck is the brainchild of Julep Bar owner and cocktail book author Alda Huerta. The Julep-To-Go Truck offers a variety of specialty cocktail drinks and alcoholic drink cocktails served with food orders.
“We would not have been able to provide this sort of service pre-COVID due to the Texas law,” said the bar’s Andy Charlton. “But once the law changed due to more need for delivery services and giving restaurants the opportunity to deliver alcohol along with food orders, we knew we needed to take advantage of the opportunity. We used the lifting of restrictions to find a way to generate revenue for the business.”
The truck has served the residents of the Spring Shadows area and other parts of the Spring Branch Management District as part of its round through town. The truck’s schedule is placed on neighborhood Facebook pages. Residents can place their food and beverage order in advance on the truck website.
The truck then delivers the order. Each order must have at least one food item per delivery.
There is a bit of everything to quench the thirst in all of us. Of course, you cannot be called a Julep-To-Go Truck without knowing how to serve up that specialty drink, and the truck stands up to the challenge. Their Mint Julep is one of their most popular requests, along with the strawberry margarita. If neither of these tempt your palate, you might try a Spicy Passion Fruit Daiquiri, Red Wine Sangria, Old Fashioned or the Chatham Artillery Punch.
You can order by the drink, by the bottle or by the gallon. Each gallon “party pack” serves 12 to 15 drinks.
Also, just in time for the heat of summer, try cooling down with the Julep Boozy pops in these flavors: Mint Julep, Cherry Bounce Sour, Strawberry Margarita, Hurricane, Old Fashioned and Irish Whiskey Smash. They come in packs of 3, 6 and 12, starting at $12. The frozen handmade pops are perfect for your next outdoor picnic or to enjoy as a poolside refreshment.
Remember, we said that each delivery order must come with the purchase of at least one food item. Food items from the truck include: Marinated Olives, Spicy House Pickle Mix, Chicken Salad Sandwich and Kettle Chips.
Of course, I needed to try for myself this bar on wheels concept. The truck was scheduled to be in my neighborhood on a Friday night (according to my neighborhood Facebook page). I visited the website and made my selections. I chose the Mint Julep because if you are going to have the name on the side of your truck, I figured you probably have perfected the drink.
In addition, I ordered the French 75, a refreshing blend of gin, lemon, champagne, and sugar. This was my favorite of the two drinks. For my food choice I selected marinated olives. After making my selections, I chose a date, time for delivery and used PayPal for payment.
Just as promised ,the truck pulled up at 6:30 p.m. I met Andy and my bartender, who mixed my drink on the spot and gave me the complete order in a sealed plastic bag, for COVID-19 precautions. Minutes later they were on their way to their next destination, and I was tearing into my bag of treats. The drinks were not short on alcohol and were delicious. It was a nice little treat for my husband and I on a Friday night in. I am thinking the Boozy Pops for next time.
The popularity of the delivery truck service has helped this local popular bar make it through the pandemic.
“The truck has been a learning experience. We have found some things that work and some that did not. We used social media to help promote the truck service and it has helped us when other bars had no income or sales. It was the support of our regular bar customers that helped promote and support the truck delivery service. We are really grateful for their support,” said Charlton.
The future of the truck’s namesake, The Julep Bar, 1919 Washington Ave, looks brighter as well. The bar will re-open their doors for the first time since closing due to the pandemic on May 11in true Julep style with a Kentucky Derby celebration. The Mint Julep is the traditional beverage served at the Derby, so it is only fitting that the bar returns to operation on the day of this year’s Derby. Hats on and glasses up in celebration for the return of the popular local bar.
While business gets back to usual at the brick-and-mortar location, the truck will continue delivery service. They have plans to expand delivery to include the truck’s availability for events and gatherings. So, if you are looking to impress your guests with a few specialty cocktails, the Julep-To-Go-Truck may be the perfect addition to your next event.
To place your order or learn about bookings the truck visit the website at www.juleptogo.com.
Hours of Operation:
Thursday- Saturday, 1-10 p.m.
Sunday 1-7 p.m.
— by Jessika Leal