OUTDOOR BAR HOW-TO

Outdoor living areas are all the rage in a country that shines in the summer months and what better way to make the most of the long, sunny days than with an outdoor bar. It seems to be the thing to do, basking in the summer, sipping ice cold drinks and catching up with good friends. Even established venues know the lure of an outdoor bar area, big or small, for almost any event. We’re here to help you set up your very own stylish outdoor bar, in your very own back yard.

Your first step would be to set up a budget. Will you be able to afford that lavish black and white bar setup from the magazine or will you be able to create a homey vibe via DIY. Setting up a budget will also help determine what “feel” your bar will have, as will determining the space in which you can set it up. It would look rather strange having a tiny bar set up in a vast garden area as would it be impossible to set up a club-sized bar when you have a semi-detached with a small yard. Whatever your taste, budget and space will help you set up the perfect bar at which to entertain.

Once that is done, the fun begins! What feel have you decided on – classic, romantic, island hopper wannabe? Will you want a freestanding bar on wheels or will you build it onto your existing braai area? Will it be a prefabricated bar, or will you design and create one yourself? And what features will you include? Standing bar, bar stools? Wine cooler? Beer tap? When deciding on features it is best to look at what you are most likely to serve; no point in having a wine chiller if you never drink wine!

Let’s take a look at some cool items you may want to include in your bar area:

• Bar fridge – to keep your drinks cool and close on hand. You could have a small fridge slotted in under the bar counter or you could choose a large standalone fridge, perhaps with a built-in ice dispenser.

• Beer tap – if you’re a beer fan then this is a must! Easy to use and great for ice cold beer on a hot day.

.• Ice bucket or an ice maker – a great way to have ice on hand, especially if you’re a frozen drinks kind of person.

• Built in bottle opener – so that you don’t have to keep running around to find one! Bottle openers are like Tupperware lids and single socks. 

• Interesting lighting – not totally a bar feature as such but definitely something to think about. Once the sun goes down, lighting will carry the mood into the night.

• Drawers – to store your bar odds and ends such as utensils, cutting board, napkins, swizzle sticks, etc.• Bar stools – standing bars are great but let’s be honest, a bar stool is a much more comfortable option. You can even get these fantastic wicker Serena bar stools right here on Outdoor Living.

 

• Cocktail blender and shaker – A free standing blender or an even cooler built-in blender plus a cocktail shaker will make sure your cocktails are on point.

So that’s the basics of creating your own super cool outdoor bar area.