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How to set up the perfect backyard bar

What is the perfect backyard bar?


Warmer spring weather has many people re-thinking their outdoor spaces ahead of barbecue season. And while a few well-placed pieces of patio furniture and a grill may suffice for entertaining, backyard bars are popular upgrades that take the space to the next level.

Backyard bars make it simple for you to serve guests beer, margaritas, sangria and more — all without stepping away from the party. Setting up the perfecting backyard bar isn’t as hard or expensive as you’d think. All you need to do is invest in a few functional pieces, and before you know it, you’ll never want to leave your new favorite outdoor space.  

What to know about backyard bars

What is a backyard bar?

Backyard bars are outdoor spaces that make it easy to serve drinks to guests. Some bars are simple and only consist of bar countertops and seating, whereas others transform backyard spaces into full-service bar-restaurants with outdoor TVs, sprawling pergolas and pizza ovens. Backyard bars can be as basic or involved as you want — depending on your budget and available space.

What to consider before building a backyard bar

Before you embark on building the perfect backyard bar, there are a few considerations to keep in mind. 

  • Layout: Once you have an idea of the outdoor bar gear you want, think about not just the bar’s layout but also the layout of the space around it. Ideally, you should set up the area in a way that facilitates conversation and allows guests to lounge and mingle.
  • Weather: Although many backyard bar items are weatherproof, you may need to protect others from rain, wind gusts or pollen. Outdoor furniture, for example, might need to be brought indoors, tied down or covered before heavy storms. 
  • DIY: If you’re open to building a backyard bar — as many people do — keep in mind that the cost of lumber and other building materials has risen significantly. Depending on your budget, it may be more cost-effective simply to buy an assembled bar. 

What you need for the perfect backyard bar

At the very least, the perfect backyard bar consists of four key elements: seating, ambiance, lighting and barware. After that, you can add just about anything else to your setup, from outdoor pizza ovens to cornhole boards

  • Seating: Many guests enjoy standing while they mingle around your bar, but eventually, they’ll want to sit down. Invest in bar seating as well as patio furniture sets, outdoor ottomans or benches.
  • Ambiance: Finding the right vibe for a backyard bar involves setting an ambiance through outdoor lighting, artwork or landscaping. Some people design themed backyard bars inspired by sports, tropical destinations or country-western venues. 
  • Lighting: Outdoor lighting is essential to every backyard bar, especially if you intend to entertain at night. String lights are easy to hang over fences and awnings, while solar torch lights and lanterns are suitable for accent lighting. 
  • Barware: Whether you’re mixing summer cocktails or serving margaritas, you’ll need the right barware. Besides essential pieces, such as cocktail shakers and glasses, it’s also wise to stock your bar with wine bottle accessories, ice buckets and coasters

Everything you need for a perfect backyard bar

Arlmont & Co. Lilyanna Bar Counter

A space-savvy option, this affordable bar has a hidden shelf with enough room to fit your speed rack and other bar essentials. 

Sold by Wayfair

Sunjoy Backyard Steel Pergola With Canopy

The 12-foot pergola, a handsome addition to any patio or backyard space, is well-received for its easy assembly and adjustable shade. 

Sold by Wayfair

Keter Outdoor Side Table Beer and Wine Cooler 

The two-in-one side table has an insulated design that keeps beverages chilled for up to 12 hours when it’s filled with ice. 

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Big Horn Outdoors Wood Pellet Pizza Oven

Treat your guests to a fresh pie with this outdoor pizza oven, which weighs a mere 25 pounds and fits on most bar counters or outdoor tabletops. 

Sold by Amazon

Best Choice Products 10-Foot Solar LED-Lighted Patio Umbrella

Enjoy your backyard bar at night with subdued lighting from this solar LED patio umbrella that comes in a dozen colors. 

Sold by Amazon

Bali Outdoors Fire Pit Table

Invite guests to gather around this gas fire pit table, an elegant design that easily becomes the focal point of any nighttime gathering. 

Sold by Amazon

Latitude Run 7-Person Seating Set

This U-shaped patio sofa set includes high-quality cushions covered in water-resistant mastering, making the set a great pick for poolside backyard bars. 

Sold by Wayfair


Brightown Outdoor Globe String Lights

These Edison glass bulbs, available in 25-, 50- and 100-foot strings, have a warm, cozy glow that illuminates outdoor spaces for laid-back nighttime parties. 

Sold by Amazon

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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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