Homeowners around the country want to make the most of their outdoor spaces, often leading to a quiet drink on the patio, hosting dinner parties with friends, or grilling up steaks for a neighborhood party. No party is complete without a bar! Rather than having you or your guests tromping in and out of your house to get a drink, you can build an outdoor bar. Still trying to figure out where to start? Here we share classic outdoor bar ideas for homeowners to add to their social space.
4 Classic Outdoor Bar Ideas
1. Indoor Outdoor Bar
If your kitchen is adjacent to your backyard, try opening it up to create the perfect indoor-outdoor bar! This concept can include some pricier renovations but is worth it to add to outdoor living space. It allows you to prepare cocktails and serve buffet-style right from the comforts of your kitchen without having to move everything. The upfront costs are nothing compared to the time and effort you save!
2. Create Shade & Shelter
The shady cover is essential to keep your guests comfortable and your beers cold. If you already have an outdoor kitchen structure or shady patio, try making room for a bar addition. If you are building an outdoor bar from scratch, build a pergola structure or other hardscape shade. It will increase both your bar’s comfortability and usability! Plus, make sure there is plenty of space in the shade to put your refrigeration unit and seating.
3. Build a Bar Shack
Building a separate structure for your bar makes an entertaining space in your yard. A little tiki hut in the corner of your lawn brings a festive feel and can create an adult-only oasis. You can even make a dual-purpose bar shack on the side of an outdoor shed or detached garage. Hang some bar signs or pictures, add a shelf for liquor, a countertop, and stools, and you have the bones of a bar!
4. Portable Bar for Convenience
If you don’t have the space for a permanent outdoor bar, build a portable one! This option saves money and allows you to bring the bar around the yard. It can be poolside, under a pergola, or on top of a deck! A portable bar is well suited for renters, so you can take it when you leave. The essentials include folding bar stools for transportability, a wheeled bar cart, an umbrella, some coolers or ice buckets, and all the makings for your favorite drinks.
What Should I Buy for an Outdoor Bar?
Your drink preference will determine the equipment you need to buy for an outdoor bar. The easiest option is a mini-fridge or beverage cooler. However, if you are a big wine fan, you may prefer a wine fridge. Alternatively, beer fans should buy a kegerator. We also recommend getting an outdoor ice maker, a mixologist counter, and comfy seating.
Can You Keep Alcohol in an Outdoor Bar?
To keep alcohol in an outdoor bar, you need two things. First, you will need a refrigeration unit of sorts to keep your drinks, mixers, and garnishes cold. Second, you will need a dark space, such as a cabinet, to keep your liquors out of the sun. If you can’t have either of these, we recommend investing in a portable bar or simply stocking your outdoor bar on the day of an event using ice buckets.
We want to note that if you do put a refrigeration unit outside, you will want to keep it as shaded as possible. Additionally, double-check how to store each of your all of your alcohol, mixers, and garnishes to ensure to they are stored safely.
How Much Does a Home Bar Cost?
A home bar design and build can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $20,000, depending on your outdoor bar ideas. A simple countertop with a mini-fridge and some barstools is going to be far cheaper than a custom-built stone bar top with a sink, fridge, kegerator, and plumbing to match. Depending on your outdoor bar ideas, you can make your design as affordable as you need.
What is a Good Size for an Outdoor Bar?
We recommend that a bar be at least 24 inches wide, so there is plenty of space to mix drinks. For the length, we recommend about 3 feet for each barstool, so people aren’t bumping elbows. As for height, we recommend 42 inches. 42 inches comfortably allows for a 30-inch bar stool for people to sit on as well as for standing drinkers. Therefore, for a bar to fit three stools and a mixologist, you are looking at 2 feet wide by 9 feet long by 42 inches tall.
Keep in mind that you will need to add more space for storage; you will need room for glasses and mixologist tools. If your bar is next to a wall, we recommend adding shelves to that. However, if it is a standalone center, you will need to build storage or shelves into the bar itself.
Turn Your Outdoor Bar Ideas into Reality with Design Scapes
An outdoor bar is becoming a hot commodity for young homeowners. Not only does it make their house the place to be, but they save money on going out, can have their children running around, and they always know their favorite drink is available. Do you want your home to become the happening place to be on a Friday night? If so, reach out to us today for a consultation. We can build you a beautiful outdoor bar with stunning landscaping and hardscaping features that will WOW your guests.