How (and Why) to Build a Garage Bar
You know that feeling when you want a cold one and some convivial conversation, but at the same time aren’t super-jazzed about making the trip to the nearest tavern or lounge?
Well, folks, there’s a marvelous solution to this conundrum that’s likely going to make you the most popular member of your social circle or your extended family: the garage bar!
In this post we’ll introduce the concept and lay down a few tips for making it a dream come true—easy to do when you’ve got the ready made watering-hole-at-home inventory on hand here at The Kings Bay!
Let’s get into this whole thing of how to build a garage bar!
What is a Garage Bar?
The garage bar is just what it claims to be: a bar in your garage. Unless you’re really ambitious, business-minded, and ready for the regulatory adventure involved, we’re not talking about a commercial tavern or anything. This is simply a space arranged and decorated like an honest-to-goodness bar to cater to you and your friends and loved ones. A hangout that’s got a lot more appeal, creativity, and even a little whimsy than your average living room or basement man cave.
Now, there’s of course no reason you can’t set up such a bar inside your house, and plenty of homeowners decide to do so. The special attraction of the garage bar—for those who have that floorplan option, anyway—is that it occupies a space just steps away from your house but removed enough to clearly delineate the personal-tavern part of your property.
That makes it a great option for families with kids, for example, or for anybody whose spouse, partner, or other housemates are perhaps not keen on having a regular social zone in the actual domicile proper. With a garage bar, you can stroll over and watch the game or swap stories with your buddies, all while maintaining some peace and quiet in the house.
But why a Garage Bar in the First Place?
There are many reasons to install a home tavern in your garage. We’ve already alluded to the sheer convenience of it: it delivers the fun vibe and social atmosphere of an actual bar without requiring you to leave your home. Heck, you can hold court behind the bar wearing your bathrobe and slippers if you want!
There’s also just the simple, sheer thrill of rolling up the door on a conventional, unassuming-looking garage and revealing a decked-out pub inside: quite the magic trick to impress your friends (and probably win you some new ones).
Many of us have garages that, to put it mildly, aren’t particularly productive uses of space. If yours is a cluttered mess of boxes you never unpacked after moving seven years ago, or tools and machines that could be much more efficiently organized, or a bunch of all-out junk that’s been firmly relegated to out-of-sight, out-of-mind status, you’ve got a clear candidate for conversion to a snazzy garage watering hole.
A garage bar gives you a standalone place to entertain for parties, game days, and whatever else, which can preserve your home from the wear-and-tear of a bunch of guests (and save you from having to tidy up every time you want to invite some friends or family over).
There’s a real monetary element, as well: going out to the bar or the club, after all, takes a bite out of your pocketbook. With a garage bar, you can get something of the same atmosphere without shelling out your extra cash for overpriced drinks and tipping for so-so bartender or waitstaff service. When you feel like a night on the town or shooting the breeze with your friends but the bank account’s nagging on you, the garage bar beckons…
Finally, if you’re a dedicated home-brewer, a garage bar becomes the perfect way to share that fine craft beer of yours in style. More than a few homebrew aficionados dream of having their own taproom and brewery, and with a garage bar they get basically that without the rigamarole and financial risk of actually setting up a business.
While we’re talking about beer, check out this great article about the history of microbreweries in our home state of South Carolina.
The “Garage Bar” Revolution
Home Bars & Bar Furniture from The Kings Bay
Thanks to The Kings Bay, you don’t need to go through the time and effort of building your own bar and furniture: we’ve got you covered with awesome, top-quality options for making your garage hangout the coolest in the neighborhood. Our solid mahogany bars cover a range of styles, from simple but elegant counters to ornate canopy bars and mirror-back setups. From antique Victorian-style bars to authentic Irish- and English-style pub options, these are exceptional pieces that’ll definitely elevate your garage bar to professional-grade status.
Throw in our array of perfectly sized bar stools, and you’ve got everything you need for a game-changing renovation of that garage of yours. Be sure to check out our guide to bar-stool decorating for more inspiration.
(1) Decide on the Size & Layout
If you’ve got a smaller garage, your home bar may completely take it over. But if you have more square footage to play around with, you might opt to set up a bar in one corner or another, reserving the rest of the garage for more traditional storage or workshop purposes.
(2) Give it a Name (and Make a Sign)
If you’re going through the effort of installing a garage bar, you ought to give it a name, right? It can be as simple as Joe’s Bar or Susan’s Bar, or you might get a bit more creative about it. Either way, set up a sign to make it “official”—maybe even rigged with lights or fashioned out of neon so you can let your guests know you’re “open for business.”
(3) Supplying the Adult Beverages
You can put as much or as little effort as you’d like, of course, when it comes to stocking your garage bar with drinks. On the simple side of things, you can treat it as a glorified home liquor cabinet or wine cellar, or set up a fridge or a mini-fridge with cans and bottles of beer. But you can also get a little fancier and incorporate beer kegs with taps. Purchase a standalone or under-counter kegerator to deliver cold, fresh draft brew, or convert a dedicated fridge with CO2 tank, lines, and faucet.
(4) Decide on the Vibe
Our Kings Bay selection of home bars gives you plenty of choices for achieving your desired garage-bar ambience, which you can obviously flesh out with decorations and lighting. Maybe you want to go with the warm, dark tones and elegant decor of a classic British or Irish pub. Maybe you’ll stay equally dark but go a bit more busy and gaudy for the feel of a corner dive. (Velvet paintings and holiday lights, maybe?)
If your home tavern is primarily a glorified excuse to watch the game, you can easily outfit yourself with your very own garage sports bar with team logos, pendants, memorabilia, athletic gear, and that sort of thing. Obviously, you’ll want to set up at least one TV in there.
Or maybe you want to crank up the kitsch and the escapism and turn your garage into a tiki bar, or “tap” into a year-round Oktoberfest vibe by evoking a German beer-hall with plenty of steins. (Your call if you want to buy yourself some lederhosen or dirndl to wear while serving drinks.)
Make Your Garage the Coolest in Town With a Home Tavern
Choose the perfect home bar and furniture from The Kings Bay and rig yourself up a fabulous garage bar! Be forewarned, though: you’re very likely to inspire a great deal of envy among your friends, who may well decide to set up their own garage bars in short order. But just consider it some friendly competition, and an ongoing impetus to keep improving your own bar to stay one step ahead.