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 8 bar setup tips when you’re planning your next backyard party and if you don’t already have a bar in place, check out these affordable outdoor bar ideas.
Tip 1: Put it in a shaded (or partially 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 (sap-free) tree or add outdoor shade via an umbrella, canopy, or shade sail.
Tip 2: 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.
Tip 3: 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.
Tip 4: Add an outdoor 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 (to break up the crowd) and stock it with easy-to-grab snacks or no-fuss drinks like bottled beer. A large, portable cooler is another good option.
Tip 5: Keep it simple with serve-yourself 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. Whichever way you go, be sure to offer water and other non-alcoholic options. And if any of your drinks require a blender, don't forget to make sure you have access to an outlet or adequate extension cords before the day of the party.
Tip 6: Go with unbreakable drinkware
Picking up broken glass is especially difficult outside (those shards are hard to find in the grass). 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.)
Tip 7: 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.
Tip 8: 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.
Outdoor gatherings are a highlight of warm weather. Follow our outdoor bar setup ideas and tips and you can be sure your gathering with be relaxed, fun, and easy to enjoy.
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