I remember when I was little being disgusted by the soupy Bloody Mary's my parents would make - using a celery stalk of all things to stir. They were willingly drinking vegetables - I swore that would never be me.
Fast forward a million years and throw in Round Top - specifically The Arbors. Oh my word, I was terrified (honestly, I still am before every show). There were so many people - strangers - and I had to talk to them. Pretty sure it was Sarah with High Noon that brought me a Bloody Mary one morning. Images of my parent's drinks came to mind - ugh. But, you can't refuse a gift or a drink.
Ellis Motel Bloody Mary's became my go to. They were a symbol of friendship in those white tents at The Arbors. As vendors/dealers - we'd take turns buying them for each other. It wasn't unusual to turn around and see fresh one on your counter.
One show, we had a flurry of customers in the booth. It felt more like a frenzy. Coats and bags were everywhere. Multiple conversations at once. It was fun, but also a bit anxiety inducing for me. I remember asking everyone what they wanted to drink, grabbing my clutch and sneaking out. I needed to breathe for a minute. Not fair to my friends and customers - but I came back with drinks for everyone from the Ellis Motel tent bar at The Arbors. Things were a bit more relaxed after that. Coats and bags were still flying and being decided on - but now customers who didn't know each other before were laughing and talking together.
If you know me - I'm all about the connection, the feeling or meaning behind something. I doubt I'll ever order a Bloody Mary anywhere else. But I can't imagine a show without having one from Ellis.
The actual bar is on Henkel Square. It's a must on your list. Locals, visitors, shoppers - doesn't matter - shoulders drop, conversations happen, and there's a lot of laughing here. It's a place for community and good drinks. (Personal plug - my son works at Still Austin and it's served here). You'll find Ellis Motel pop up bars at several venues in Round Top.
*the picture above - two of my favorites from Alabama!