Backyard Chill-Out Zone: How to Create an Outdoor Bar


There’s no better feeling in the summer than grabbing a cold drink at an outdoor bar. Fresh wind breezing in your hair, sitting under a cool shade and sipping on a nice cocktail – what is there not to love? But it’s not easy getting to a bar every time you like. You will probably need to drive around for some time, look for parking space and you might even need to walk in the sun until you get to the bar. Is all this effort worth it in this heat? Why not bring the bar to you instead?

If you’re lucky to have enough space in your backyard or a deck or alfresco area, you can build your own outdoor bar. Besides serving as your own chill-out corner in the summer, an outdoor bar is perfect for get-togethers with family and friends. And although you may think that creating an outdoor bar is a complex project, in reality, it doesn’t take much. Once you know what you want and gather all the essential elements, your outdoor bar can be ready for entertaining in a weekend. Here are some tips on how to do it.

Pick a Bar

First things first – let’s start with the bar itself. You can either purchase a ready-made bar or build your own bar instead. Ready-made bars are basically cabinets that have big enough compartments for conveniently storing a bar fridge, glassware and other supplies you will need for entertaining. They can be made of a variety of materials including wicker, hardwoods like teak and aluminium. Consider the style of your outdoor setting in order to pick the right bar. Some bars can also feature wheels so you can conveniently move them around the space.

On the other hand, you may decide to build a custom bar that’s perfectly tailored to your needs and space. To do so, you can hire a professional if you desire something more complicated, or try a DIY project if you have the time and trust your abilities.

Add the Right Furniture

To complement your bar, you will also need to add the right furniture. In other words, you’ll need a good bar table and bar stools. Outdoor furniture stores offer a variety of outdoor bar settings to choose from. Since the furniture is going to be exposed to all kinds of weather, make sure that it’s made of a material that’s resistant to the elements. For instance, outdoor bar settings made of powder-coated aluminium can be a long lasting option. Powder-coated aluminium is corrosion-resistant, stain-proof and has a beautiful finish that can last for a long time. In addition, since this material is smooth and non-pourous, it’s a lot easy to clean. You just need to give the table and stools a quick wipe with a damp cloth to remove any dust or spills.

But if you love the classic look of wood, pick a strong, weather-friendly materials such as teak. Unlike other types of wood, teak has a high content of natural rubber and oils which act as a sealant. And combined with a good finish, this protects the material from rain, sun, rot and even insects. If you pick a teak outdoor table and bar stools, you can leave them sitting out in the harsh sun or being rained on without worrying that they will get irreparably damaged.

Don’t Forget the Fridge

Finding a compact and functional bar fridge is what’s going to complete your setup. Similar to outdoor furniture, an outdoor fridge should withstand the ever-changing weather. This makes determines whether the fridge will last only a few years or much longer. For that reason, it’s recommended to go for a fridge that’s specifically designed for outdoor use. Outdoor-rated bar fridges undergo tests for durability and safety when used outdoors. Usually, these fridges are made of high-grade stainless steel.

However, not all outdoor fridges are suitable to be integrated into a bar. The placements of the vents in a model determines whether it can fit into a bar. While many bar fridges have vents in the back, it’s important that you pick a model with vents in the front. A front-venting unit can be placed inside the bar and still have unobstructed access to air needed for cooling.

Provide Some Cool Shade

And finally, to ensure that your bar fridge operates efficiently, you will need to place it in a shaded area. In addition, a shaded bar would be a lot more enjoyable for chilling than sitting under the hot sun. With that being said, if you have a covered deck, alfresco or another shaded area, you already have the perfect spot for your bar. If not, you can always place the bar under a tree or add some shade in the form of a large umbrella or a canopy.