When the temperatures warm up, there is a greater pull to spend more time outside relaxing and entertaining. You might already have your comfortable outdoor space, but what about a place to prepare and mix your favorite libations? An outdoor bar is a perfect addition to any home and outdoor space.
Whether you’re looking to add on to an outdoor kitchen plan or building a standalone outdoor bar, we’re here to help you understand what you’ll need and how to choose the best that will last outdoors for years.
PUT IT IN A SHADED AREA
If you’ll be entertaining during the day, make sure your bar is in the shade to help keep it cool. Position it under a tree or add outdoor shade via an umbrella, canopy, or shade sail.
THE BAR SHOULD BE EASY TO GET TO
People will likely mingle around the bar. Keep it from becoming too congested by putting it in a fairly open space. If it’s a self-serve bar, make it accessible from both sides to keep things flowing.
MAKE SURE IT’S STURDY
Whether you’re using a table or a dedicated outdoor bar, you’ll want to be sure it can support some weight. If you’re hosting a medium or large gathering, it’s probably going to be holding quite a bit, and things like ice and drinks can get heavy.
ADD A BAR CART
Especially if you’re expecting a large crowd, consider using both a full-sized bar and an outdoor bar cart. Place the cart away from the bar and stock it with easy-to-grab snacks or no-fuss drinks like bottled beer.
KEEP IT SIMPLE WITH SELF-SERVING OPTIONS
When you stock the bar, you can go the traditional spirits-and-mixers route or choose something simpler. Guests can easily serve themselves if you opt for a drink dispenser filled with the punch/cocktail of your choice plus beer and wine options.
No one wants a lukewarm beverage. Make sure you have a place where you can keep things cold and where you can grab ice. That could be a mini fridge, cooler or even just a bucket that you stock with ice when you’re using your bar.
OPT FOR UNBREAKABLE DRINKWARE
Stock up on outdoor drinkware like disposable, reusable acrylic, or other sturdy options to be safe. The same tip applies to dinnerware if you’ll be serving food.
To really make the most of your bar, you’re going to want to be able to get comfortable. Whether you add bar stools around a high-top table, Adirondack chairs or a couple of benches, adding some thoughtful seating touches can make all the difference.
LIGHT IT UP
If your shindig will go into the night, incorporate some lighting. String lights are fun and cozy, while lanterns and torch lights are another great option.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE TRASH
Be sure to put out waste bins in a spot that’s easy for guests to find. If you’ll have recyclables, label your bins with clear, easy-to-understand signs.
Whether it’s for a holiday or just because, a backyard get-together with friends and family is always a good time, and setting up an outdoor bar makes it easy for your guests to grab refreshments without getting too far from the fun. Remember these bar setup tips when you’re planning your next backyard party.