Crafting the Ultimate Outdoor Bar

Having a working outdoor bar is a fantastic tool when hosting parties. This comprehensive guide will help you set up the perfect backyard bar, complete with checklists of everything you need! Regarding a bar for your backyard, the architecture maxim holds: form follows function: Do you want to have BBQ lunches and host a softball league, or do you want to rest and relax by the pool with friends at a cabana bar? Or is this an outdoor gourmet chef's cooking arena?

The question is: Are there building elements you'd like to incorporate as a central element of your bar? This could include a pool with a cabana in pride of place—an open patio overlooking a serene garden. A grill or even a pizza oven. Do you want a covered lounge area for meditation or a BBQ pit for lively conversation?

Practical considerations include what DIY skills you possess or are willing to acquire and the project's material, tools, time, and labor. This doesn't mean you should forgo the charms of the pub of your dreams. You can contract part or the entire job out to a builder. Another option is kits and DIY projects.

Types of Outdoor Bars

Open Kitchen Bar or Indoor/Outdoor

This is the best of two worlds. Your kitchen connects with a patio, garden, or yard. Standard methods include a window with a restaurant-style bar opening or sliding glass or French Doors. The benefits of this include the functionality of your kitchen appliances and the pleasure of an outdoor entertainment bar area.

Outdoor Kitchen and Bar

The bar and kitchen set outdoors are the gold standard for those who love to cook and entertain outdoors. There are so many configurations. For example, consider a grilling station or BBQ, then counter space with barstools. You can orchestrate the different conversation stations. When planning an outdoor kitchen bar combo, keep nature and the elements in mind when planning an outdoor dining area, especially if you desire a grill pit. (Yes! a grill pit!) Plan your location and placement to avoid BBQ smoke blowing into the house or being carried by the wind when guests relax at the bar.


Transform your cabana into an incredible space. You'll want a countertop, comfortable stools, a bar fridge, and a sink, and you've created an astonishing bar water feature! For storage, a bar cart nearby can hold anything from cutting boards for garnishes to your glassware collection. To set off this look to perfection, a pool tile that can withstand the elements that carry on your visual theme.

Portable Tiki Bar

Bring the party wherever you go! The portable tiki bar wins the title for the ultimate in ease, portability, and comfort. A charmingly retro ice bucket, attractive and comfortable bar stools, a storage bag on wheels, dramatic details such as tiki torches, and the crowning touch -- your tiki umbrella that provides timeless yet contemporary style and cool attitude in the shade will have folks bellying up to the bar.

Ready to Assemble DIY Outdoor Concrete Bar Kit

Stone, modern, and brick finishes usually demand a solid masonry skill set in brick or stonework. But with a ready-to-assemble bar island, you can get the look! You're good to serve libations in only a few hours! It's true; no construction skills are needed. The kit's high-performance concrete panels are ready; bolt them together! Then, place the granite or concrete countertop atop the frame. Remember that concrete is excellent for a combo outdoor kitchen/bar/grill station. And you can order the fridge, sink, or storage.

Taverns-To-Go DIY Outdoor Bar

Discover the joy that can be yours when you put an outdoor bar together by yourself or with a posse. This backyard patio bar kit is made from pressure-treated yellow pine lumber and is available in three sizes. Those craving a BBQ station will be interested in the model with the wood frame, galvanized steel sides, and roof. Kits from Taverns-To-Goare are three-sided wraparound bars, a work shelf, and a trim array of wall storage shelves. Purpose and usage are vital considerations, and galvanized steel is a fantastic option for a kitchen.

Dual-Purpose Pub Shed

Sheds exude possibility. They are the extra mobile space that you need. For those with the skills, there could be a DIY pub shed in the future. However, builders can help you bring your vision to fruition exactly as you see it without worrying about time, tools, or technique.

Countertop and Siding

Once the foundation and walls are set, it's time to add the countertop. The standard height for most bars is approximately 42 inches, so plan accordingly. Your bar countertop and siding express style, personality, and functionality; they must look good and withstand the elements. Select water and weather-resistant material to extend your bar's life.

If pressure-treated lumber isn't an option or is too expensive, use weatherproof wood with waterproof paint or stain. Other materials can range from stainless steel, concrete (check the foundation can support it), tile or brick with waterproof grout, repurposed house siding, or corrugated metal roofing panels.

Reclaimed, Recycled, and Rustic: Using Repurposed Wood

Repurposed and reclaimed materials are the best way to create a unique bar-based outside. There are several reasons to use repurposed wood to create a backyard bar. These include the ecological desire to reuse wood, and there are aesthetic reasons: it looks authentic and artistic. Wood blends well with any decor style, from Western to contemporary, classic, earthy, or sophisticated. Wood barrels can be used as a base to complete a bar top. Top it with recycled wood, a concrete slab, ceramic tiles, or stainless steel, and you're ready to start serving drinks!

For a bar set in the great outdoors via your yard, patio, or pool, you should use pressure-treated lumber if you're committed to using wood as a building material. Why? You'll want to use pressure-treated lumber for its intrinsically rot-resistant qualities and ability to resist moisture and wet conditions, which can be the bane of the outdoor entertainment area. More: Instead of nails go with galvanized screws, which, unlike nails, will resist rust.

Things to Consider

Have Shelter Over Your Bar

A shelter over your backyard bar protects you from the elements so you can enjoy your space year-round in every type of weather.

Have Locked Cabinets for Your Tools/Glasses

A locked cabinet for tools, glasses, and bar stock provides ease, safety, and peace of mind. With a key/keypad, tranquility is at hand.

Make Sure Everything is Weatherproof

Weatherproofing your backyard bar is crucial to protect it from the rain, sun, and temp fluctuations for dependability, durability, and long-lasting good looks. For wood, use weather-resistant sealants or stains. Metal can benefit from rust-resistant coatings, while stone and concrete may need sealants to prevent water absorption and cracking. Tiles should be sealed to resist moisture. Regularly clean and reapply protective coatings and consider UV-resistant finishes. Maintenance and cleaning keep your backyard bar looking spectacular, whatever the weather.

Creating A Bar in the Backyard

For those whose love language is gifts of hospitality and service and whose idea of a perfect day is spent in the company of family and friends, a hospitality space in your backyard opens up a world of possibility. Everything from bar glasses to swizzle sticks to tiki torches is at your command.

Building a bar outdoors is an ambitious project. As with any DIY project, you want to find an option that matches your skill level, time commitment, resources of money, space, and function. Double-check that the selected area is stable and level before laying the bar's foundation. If you read the words stable and level and feel ready to commit the project to a builder, that could be a fantastic prospect!

Then, with a firm foundation, if you feel called to contribute your DIY skills to the project, that can be beautiful. You can let the pros take charge of the entire project, from foundation to putting the roof in, or have the more labor-intensive work done and fine tool to your vision of the perfect bar, working when you can. There's no wrong way.

For example, your bar can be created with four basic walls, storage on a portable cart, a "back wall" that can support shelves, and three other walls for support and closure. Need storage? Add shelves for storage onto back walls. There's fantastic custom glide-out shelving for elegance, ease, functionality, and style; however, it's complicated and requires fundamental skills. If you are happy with a more basic design, consider mount-bracketed shelves on the side walls. If all this measuring, cutting, and constructing is starting to inspire you to drink before the bar is built, feel free to consult a builder or carpenter to discuss the job: start, solo, or finish.

Things to Get

Outdoor Keg

When picking an outdoor keg, consider the size, type of beer, and keg dispensing system. Choose a keg size. Be sure the keg is compatible with your dispensing system, whether a trad tap or a kegerator. Keep the keg in a cool, shaded area. Ready to use? Connect to the dispensing system and check for proper seals and good gas pressure. Maintain the recommended temp. Purge the system of excess air before pouring to preserve carbonation. And finally, clean the lines and system regularly.


Look for accessories that showcase your aesthetics, eco-values, and sense of fun! Look for lightweight, reusable plates and. For straws, consider alternatives like stainless steel or paper. Select durable -- and shatterproof -- drinkware like acrylic or plastic glasses. Look for materials that are suitable for the outdoors, low-impact, and easy to clean, and complement the style of your backyard bar.


The best grill for outdoor entertaining is the one that meets your needs at a price point that feels comfortable. Gas or electric grills are good budget options, uniting reasonable pricing and solid construction that lasts. They're also the simplest and need the least. Grill gourmets will argue that charcoal and pellet grills are often preferred options for flavor, especially by hardcore enthusiasts, fans, and BBE epicureans. Still, like many fine things, they demand more maintenance and have higher operational costs.


Propane grills use tanks of liquid propane to fuel the burners. A standard 20-pound propane tank typically provides about 25 hours of grilling time. Inspect the tank for damage and check that the regulator and supply line are in good working order and properly connected. And check the fuel supply meets the need for meal prep.


Enjoy the outdoors while offering protection from the elements. The intense sun can make the bar too hot during the day's heat, and conversely, the rain can cause people to wish to come in out of the droplets. For these reasons, or simply because it's stylish, fun, and dramatic, if your bar doesn't have a roof, consider an umbrella to be made in the shade.

Bar Cart

A bar cart adds pizzazz, mobility, and style. You can make or buy one—elemental considerations: size, design, and material. Shelves for storage and display are good, and multiple shelves are better! Go for a wagon that works with your decor and stock it with essential bar tools, glassware, and liquor. DIY options include creating your own with new materials, refurbishing vintage carts, or repurposing furniture for new life.


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