George Koopman is the cool and collected cat behind local
limousine party bus/van transportation services, The Vig Rig and Tuesday Trolley. As The Valley's most reputable designated driver, Koopman knows how to show people a good time and keep them safe while doing it.
With The Vig Rig in its fourth year of running -- a complimentary van service that picks you up from home, drops you at The Vig Arcadia and a Scottsdale club/bar of your choice, then swoops you up and delivers you right back home (yes, for free) -- Tuesday Trolley is Koopman's most recent, a sweet party bus that's been rockin' up and down Indian School Road for a little over two years-- $3 to ride and $3 drinks at each of the four bars on The Trolley's itinerary.
Don't worry, we're smacking ourselves for not knowing about this rad deal sooner, too.
The Meet Up: Being a Tuesday night, we caught up with Koopman and crew at The Trolley's third pit stop of the night, Chopper John's, regretting to inform us we had just missed the wet t-shirt contest that took place on the bar's stage (shucks).
Koopman is a smiley, casually mannered, super friendly dude. His demeanor brings about a sense of ease, and this is especially made clear when I express a tiny bit of panic about the low charge on my camera battery, "Perfect, you can just hang out and enjoy yourself then".
We discuss the details of his clever, almost too good to be true, transportation service. "Since [Arizona's] harsh DUI laws, drinking and driving just isn't an option for people anymore," Koopman explains. He then decided to give people a safe option that would help support our drinking habits and local bars. The bus is a Tuesday night service that, at a $3 charge, will pick up guests at a requested residence that stays roughly within a half mile radius of "The Trolley's" participating bars, and then deliver you're drunk behind back home at no extra charge. Since participating bars offer $3 drinks to its riders, The Trolley is technically a "dry limo," meaning booze on the bus is not provided-- but, lets just say, sneaking a roadie or two goes unnoticed (and of course, we had to test the waters).
The Company: The Trolley runs from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m., and usually doesnt start picking up until 10 p.m., the time when Koopman passes along his designated driving duties to partner, Pierce Mettler, a black-framed glasses sweetheart that has the patience of a saint. Friends and party enthusiasts, Laine Ayre and awesome Aussie neighborhood bar dweller, Graeme Mosedale, are also along for the ride, as well as a bus load full of drunken dancing Tuesday boozehounds, including one that goes by the name "Superman," or just "Superdrunk".
Favorite Spots: The Trolley kicks the party off at The Vig Arcadia, travels up the road to cozy dive bar, Hazelwood's First Place Sports Grill, Chopper John's, and ends at The Little Woody, a new favorite hot-spot in Arcadia. Though this is
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the most current Trolley agenda, Koopman and Mettler are always looking to add more bars that will help add to the Tuesday night fun.
When the sound of a cocktail glass hitting the floor inside The Little Woody, Mettler decides it's time to rally his tipsy troop back on the bus. During the drop-offs, it's made clear our beloved designated Trolley drivers deserve a dollar or two (or twenty). Then again, safe transportation to numerous bars, complete with a bumpin' stereo system, strobe lights, and a stripper pole, makes it easy to wish the night would never end. Not bad for a Tuesday, eh?