It’s the ultimate in soft sells. As the cars back up in bumper-to-bumper traffic along the main drag in Barrington for the Friday evening commute, stomachs begin to rumble and throats begin to feel a touch parched. And what’s that over there? There are lots of folks milling around the Brickyard Wine & Spirits parking lot, a shiny local food truck smoking away, and inside there’s a beer tasting. The wheel almost begins to turn itself. The man behind this masterstroke is manager Brian Buongiovanni, who also does Brickyard’s marketing.
Food Truck Fridays runs every Friday from 5 to 7pm, and since it began last spring, Brian says he’s been surprised at how quickly it took off. The hard sell came in convincing the first couple of food trucks that Brickyard could draw a crowd for the event, but after getting over this initial hurdle, locals began to see it was a weekly thing and began to plan around it. The whole thing “began snowballing in a way I didn’t expect” Brian says, the parking lot started to “look like a carnival.” Instead of having to beg food trucks to show up, he is now receiving calls from food trucks that want to be added to the rotation.
Each week features a different food truck in the lot. May’s lineup brings Paco’s Tacos on May 1, then subsequent weeks are O’Crepe, Fugo (fusion gourmet), Acacia and Rocket Fine Street Foods. Some favorites make a return, and he’s always interested in new trucks, like recent startups Citizen Wing. Instead of just waiting around for your grub, Brian is hoping you’ll kill some time by heading inside and trying a tasting with one of the visiting brewery or wineries. Some highlights for May include Bridge Lane wine tasting from the North Fork area of Long Island as well as Foolproof Brewing and others.
Brickyard is a store well worth checking out in its own right. In addition to having an excellent selection of beer and wine, it recently began selling a full line of home brewing equipment. “We love to geek out about beer,” says Brian, and it shows, as they play host to the East Bay Homebrew Club one Monday a month. They’ve had head brewers from all of our local brewing companies in to speak to the club, give advice and trade recipes. It’s this sort of passion and connection to the local brewing scene that has made Brickyard a destination for craft beer in the area, but, as Brian says, there’s something for everyone. If you want Korean BBQ outside, and a six-pack of Bud Light inside, you can live that modest dream.
Brickyard Wine & Spirits
1 Waseca Ave, Barrington