It’s easy to fall in love with Betty at first sight.
Because at first sight, you see the 1958 Mercury canned-ham camper that looks like it was plucked out of a magazine page.
Kelli Crosby renovated the vintage camper with that vision in mind. And with help from a certain website.
“Pinterest,” she says. “Pinterest with a capital P.”
She describes Betty as a “beauty” and “pretty darn cute.” And she’s not just for looks.
Betty is a new mobile bar available for rent in the Colorado Springs area and one of two on-wheels pop-up bars run by Crosby under the name Sugar Moon Mobile Bar Co.
Starting the business, and bringing the trend to Colorado Springs, was an unexpected path for Crosby.
In May 2020, she left her career of 20 years as a physical therapist in search of something new. The change had nothing to do with the pandemic.
It was cancer.
When she was 35, 10 years ago, she was diagnosed with colon cancer. She fought through what she calls the worst year of her life.
And she found a new perspective on life.
“I realized that life is short,” she said. “That was the impetus for wanting a change. I was asking myself, ‘What else do I want to do in this lifetime?’”
She started dreaming of owning some land, where she and her husband could run a wedding venue. When she followed that dream, another one stepped in.
While researching wedding venues, Crosby came across the trend of mobile bars, built out of pickup trucks or horse trailers or campers.
Mobile bars have popped up in Denver, Boulder and Crested Butte. But not in the Pikes Peak region.
So Crosby decided to go for it.
“I just thought, ‘This sounds fun,’” she said. “And I’ll do this in the meantime.”
That turned into the mobile bar business she launched in early June. Along with Betty, the business includes a teal 1962 Cushman Truckster revamped as a convertible tap truck named Otho. Both Betty and Otho are available to book for events like weddings or birthday parties.
Crosby and her husband share a love for do-it-yourself projects, which boded well for renovating the vehicles into bars that are not only picturesque, but functional.
They just need bartenders and alcohol, details which are left up to customers who book the mobile bar.
The allure of the bars comes from the look.
“They’re just cool to look at,” Crosby said. “People always say it’s such an eye-catching structure. And then they are so excited to figure out it’s a bar.”
As for the name, Sugar Moon is a nod to Colorado moonshiners from the 1920s, who started making moonshine from sugar beets, an easy-to-grow crop locally due to an abundance of sunny Colorado days. Locals called that concoction “sugar moon.”
That ties into the vintage aesthetic of the bars, which Crosby sums up as “Instagram worthy.”
“These days, it’s all about photos,” she said. “And people want to take photos with these.”