Bar de Cru is a luxury mobile cocktail bar which has been lovingly crafted from a 1981 Citroen H van. We offer our bar hire services for all types of events and are flexible to your wants and needs. If you have any unusual requests please don't hesitate to ask! If you would like more details on what we have to offer or you would like to hire Bar de Cru then please visit our services page or contact us via e-mail or by phone. We are based in Oxfordshire; however we are happy to travel for a small delivery charge of £1/mile.
Our story began at the start of summer 2012 when we came across an old Citroen H van which had been transported from the South of France in a state of sorry disrepair. We instantly fell in love with its charm and authentic looks. We understood that we would be undertaking a huge project; however we were drawn to the great look of this iconic French classic and she stood out to be the ideal vehicle to turn into our luxury mobile cocktail bar.
Firstly, we stripped the van right back to bare metal and removed the LPG gas tank. We needed to assess exactly how much bodywork repair was needed to bring it back to its former glory. We then had it sand blasted and painted in a primer coat to ensure no further rusting occurred. Secondly we had to design the layout of the bar. We enlisted the help of Krzysztof Cwiek and a highly experienced metal work team to ensure we made the best possible choices. Krzysztof, who now trains all of our bar staff, has run bars in nightclubs and bars throughout London with his team of professional cocktail mixologists including Bungalow 8, Ping and Film & Art Festivals in Venice and Canes. We had the challenge of fitting all the necessities of a functional cocktail bar into a relatively confined space. These essentials included beer taps, soft drink taps, Champagne fridges, a 130 pint-per-hour beer chiller unit, a 49 bottle wine rack, speed rails, ice wells, glass racks, a sink with running hot water, the fabricated steel work tops with a glass and brass display shelf, all the lighting and electrics and as much storage space as we could squeeze in!
Once the bar was fully constructed we then had to take it all back out again to have the van professionally painted once more in a high gloss black finish with as subtle gold fleck added to it for that extra bling. In order to add an extra layer of luxury we opted to dress the whole interior with padded and pleated cream leather to give the van its stunning unique look. The seats were also reupholstered in the same cream leather with contrasting black stitching and door card inserts added to complete the custom look.
In order to keep the vehicle as near to its original condition as possible, we refurbished all of the original parts that we could. This includes the door handles, badges, wheel caps, windscreen wipers and trimmings which we had re-plated in brass to stay in keeping with the van's vintage feel. We also painstakingly refurbished and painted the engine and engine bay to near perfect condition to complete the restoration and to give our beloved H van her heart back.
Since the completion of our mobile cocktail bar we have gained a great deal of press coverage including articles in FHM, The Oxford Mail and The Oxford Times and have steadily been growing the company and making great contacts within the events industry. We have catered for many events including weddings, private parties and corporate functions as well as exhibiting at Taste Festival and The National Wedding Show in London.
Citroen produced almost 500,000 H vans in a range of models over a 34-year period. Our particular model is a rare example as it is a short wheel base van with an original extended top. We believe our H van is one of the finest examples in existence due to the sheer love and labor involved in its transformation and restoration, and we are convinced you will agree.
If you would like to see some images of the various stages of the restoration or would like to enquire about our mobile bar hire services then please feel free to visit our social media pages. Scrolling to the bottom of our Instagram page is a great way to see the build and explore our journey so far. You can also find links to our social media pages in the top right-hand corner and bottom of this page.