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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Community Business: The Happiest Hour

David Baines in the modified trailer (Provided by The Happiest Hour)

YORKTOWN — David Baines, owner of The Happiest Hour, LLC is behind the newest venture for bartending events on the peninsula.

The Happiest Hour, which he co-owns with his girlfriend, Leigh Robinson, is a mobile bartending option for parties and occasions. The business officially launched in February. Baines has been in restaurants since he was old enough to do so, and the same applies to bartending — a total of 20 years of bartending experience.

The idea began to form during the COVID-19 pandemic. In conversation with Robinson, he had wondered if it wouldn’t be cool to go to people’s houses and do alcohol that way. From there, the idea snowballed into a bar trailer.

“I know other people started doing it before I have,” Baines said. “I’m just getting started right now, but I like the idea and I’ve always wanted to have my own bar but I didn’t want the restaurant to come around with it.”

“I absolutely love [being a bartender],” Baines continues about his experience in the industry. “It’s something that I love doing. I just love making cocktails and making different drinks, even mocktails.”

The pair found a 14-foot horse trailer and remodeled it into a functional bar to offer their services to clients.

When an individual rents a venue in Virginia, a 24-hour license is required from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) if alcohol is desired at an event.

“We’re providing a service,” Robinson explained. “We don’t buy any liquor and we don’t sell any drink. So [the client] purchases the ABC license, we meet with whoever is renting it for their event, find out what kind of cocktails they want to make, what do they want to offer, we give them a detailed shopping list so there’s not a lot of waste or wasting money just buying a lot of liquor, and then we just make the drink.”

Robinson and Baines also note that the rules for private home events are different from those for event locations and do not require a liquor license.

The Happiest Hour is on the approved vendor list for The Maine of Williamsburg and The Freight Shed in Yorktown. They also offer tastings when booking to help individuals plan their menus for what will be best for them.

“We know that planning any kind of big event can be stressful,” Robinson said. “So we do whatever we can to make it less stressful [for the client.] If we can take that part of it off [their plate] we’re happy to do it.”

The Happiest Hour is only available for event and private bookings. To learn more visit its official webpage.

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