Bar changing business strategy to “Booze Cruise”

Mark Willingham Uncategorized

Bar changing business strategy to “Booze Cruise”


By Christian Folsom

March 22, 2020

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – The coronavirus pandemic has forced restaurants and bars to get creative or face the reality of closing their doors for the foreseeable future.

Barley’s Bar and Grill in downtown Council Bluffs decided on the former, choosing to bring happy hour to customers’ homes.

Matt Johnson is the owner of Barley’s, a local establishment that is normally full of loyal customers. With many of those customers stuck at home in quarantine, Johnson came up with an idea to bring the bar to them – a booze cruise.

“It’s a novelty,” said Johnson. “I think the whole ice cream truck concept with beer has been well taken.”

An ice cream truck for adults, but with all of their favorites – beer, wine, seltzers, liquor and even homemade Bloody Mary kits.

“We have had to change our entire business model the last week with everything going on,” added Johnson.

Johnson, along with another member of his staff, take orders via email and deliver them directly to the customer’s doorstep.

They’ve only been doing deliveries since Thursday, but it’s already become quite the commodity.

“The community’s been unreal,” he said. “Almost everybody we’ve went to is a regular customer at Barley’s.”

Johnson isn’t sure how long they’ll keep doing this drink delivery service, but he’s enjoying it so far and will continue to deliver the necessary supplies for his customers’ quarantine cocktails.