Photo Credit: Comedienne Joy
Eat. Drink. Ride: The Luxury Party Bus Food Tour in Alabama Praised By Beyoncé
Joy King, popularly known as Comedienne Joy, has made a career of taking her audience in Birmingham, Alabama along with her on dining experiences through her TV show and food blog. So it was only natural when she turned a Facebook live restaurant segment on a party bus into a full-fledged luxury foodie tour. Bham Eat Drink Ride Food Tour with Comedienne Joy is a food tour in the metro Birmingham area where guests sample dishes from five restaurants over the course of four hours. Transportation to the venues is a plush, luxury party bus with a steady stream of entertainment and adult beverages.
“We’re in each restaurant about 20 minutes, and then we have enough time to snap pictures, get our food, go to the bathroom, and then we’re on the bus,” King told Travel Noire. “We party in between going to the next stop. Around that fourth stop, most people start to tap out, but we’re still having fun.”
Birmingham has garnered attention as a surprising foodie city in recent years, but they’re serving up more than traditional Southern food. The Eat Drink Ride Food Tour menu runs the gamut of everything from seafood to fried chicken — a personal favorite of King’s — or themed fare like Indian or Asian.
“There are some times that I may have a theme like a Mexican tour, and we have different tacos. But typically, it’s you hop on the bus, and you’re just going to get a mix of everything. So guests get on the bus, and they don’t know where they’re going. I tell them as they go along.”
King also takes dietary restrictions into consideration and alters the route accordingly. Groups typically book the entire sleek, spacious bus for birthdays, bachelorette parties, and ladies’ nights out, but there are also public tours where guests enter as strangers and leave as friends after their shared experience.
It also helps that Joy is as vivacious and vibrant as her name. Guests get star treatment — literally. King and her crew roll out the red carpet before every tour, letting guests get their shine before heading on the bus. Strict Covid protocols are enforced, including sanitizer and masks. King has two rules on the party bus.
“Rule number one, if you didn’t come to have fun, you have to get off the bus. Rule number two, I have a serious no alcohol abuse policy. So that means the roads are raggedy sometimes so you have to hold on to your cup. If you waste it I tell them you got to lick it up because those grapes gave their lives for this wine,” added the comedienne.
There’s one more rule King recently implemented.
“Beyoncé blessed my company with a $10,000 business grant,” she shared. “So I start every tour with a Beyoncé song. We’re all partying and dancing, and we have a welcome cocktail, then we’re at the first stop and it’s just a party from then.”
And much like Las Vegas, what happens on the bus stays on the bus.
“I tell them if you get too crazy, I might go live.”
Currently, King operates two buses and hopes to expand the tour outside of Birmingham by the end of the year. Part of the tour’s success lies in the close relationships she has cultivated with restaurateurs over the past few years. Without that connection, the tour is simply a party. King wants to ensure she can replicate the camaraderie outside the city.
“A lot of times even when they get to the restaurant outside the food, you get to meet the chef, you get to hear their stories or concept. Why did they make that restaurant? A lot of times they work there with their spouses. I have one guy who makes Mississippi Delta tamales, but all of their food is gluten-free because his wife has celiac disease. So that was very important for them.”
Find out more about the Bham Eat Drink Ride luxury party bus food tour with Comedienne Joy and book your spot on the website.