Suburbia in the City
If you can't drink piña coladas on the beach this summer, the next best thing is piña coladas from Suburbia, a refurbished 1960s Airstream trailer slinging frozen cocktails in front of Union Market. The latest project from Buffalo & Bergen's Gina Chersevani is parked on a stretch of grass where market-goers can soak up the sun in lounge chairs, play corn hole, and eat some barbecue.
Chersevani took inspiration from growing up on Long Island, where she remembers people parking RVs in their yards and using them as secondary kitchens and storage for parties. She also wanted to do a throwback to suburbia in the 1960s when frozen drinks were a big thing. The Airstream that houses her bar on wheels, bought on eBay, coincidentally came from Long Island.
Chersevani's frozen cocktails, $8 each, include Grapplin' Grape, a blackberry margarita, orange crush, and that piña colada—all of which can be mixed and matched in a plastic cup. Instead of using a processed mix, Chersevani uses real ingredients in her piña colada: coconut milk, coconut water, fresh pineapple juice, a bit of lemon and lime, El Dorado white rum, Chairman's Reserve spiced rum, and simple syrup.
There's also a frozen Coke for $4 and a selection of nine beers ($4 to $7) ranging from Miller High Life to Tecate to Redd's Apple Ale. Starting this weekend, shaved ice sno-balls will be available in blackberry, lemon-lime, raspberry, or blueberry flavors for $2.
To reinforce the suburban feel, guest chefs will host barbecues on Suburbia's lawn on Sundays (and soon on Saturdays). Former PS7's chef Peter Smith recently manned the grill. Follow @SuburbiaDC on Twitter to find out about guest bartenders some evenings.
One last incentive to stop by: Chersevani is holding a daily contest. The person who posts the best photo of Suburbia on Instagram with the tag @SuburbiaDC will win a day-long drinking pass for frozen drinks. (The pass is only for one person, so you can't get free drinks for your friends, sorry.)
The cocktail mobile is open Thursdays through Sundays at Union Market, though Chersevani plans to hitch it down to New Orleans the weekend of July 12 for Tales of the Cocktail, an annual gathering of mixologists from around the world.
Photo by Jessica Sidman