PEORIA, Ill. — While food trucks and mobile boutiques may not be new to central Illinois, one business on wheels is.
“There’s nothing like this in the area,” said Sam Heppard, the owner of Clink Mobile Bar. “We roll up. It’s a bar. It’s ready to go.”
The shiny, 1965 Airstream trailer Heppard operates out of isn’t just an old school oddity. It’s the home base of Clink and it catches the attention of those passing by.
“I’ve always wanted to start a business and I want to do something right now that’s kind of a side gig that doesn’t take over all my time and so this works perfectly for that,” said Heppard.
With the support of his wife Traci, the two Central Illinois natives bought the trailer and took the next seven months to renovate it.
He said, “Somebody had been living in it and so [we] gutted the whole thing, completely down to the bare bones. Down to the shell. Redid the floor, the walls, everything.”
Last October, Clink Mobile Bar was officially born. The full service bar on wheels offers cocktails, beer and wine and can support public and private events.
“Everybody who ever sees it—you know—is just in awe of it. And that gives me the best satisfaction—you know—that it did work,” Heppard said.
While Clink Mobile Bar doesn’t have the overhead of a traditional storefront, Heppard says they have had their fair share of challenges. In particular, they have had to navigate the complexities of mobile business regulations and relay that information to customers. But Heppard says the end result is worth it.
“It’s just the best feeling when you see family, friends and repeat customers coming up and—you know—giving back to them,” he said.
In the future, Sam and Traci are looking to grow into the business full time by opening multiple mobile bars that travel across Illinois and other states.
To find more details about Clink Mobile Bar, visit their website.