Originally Published on July 7, 2021. Last Updated on October 4, 2023.
Patio bars are gaining momentum as more and more of us discover how fun and convenient it is to have these entertaining spaces in our backyards. If you’re considering building an outdoor bar at home, let us supply you with some libation inspiration. Say bye to crowded gastropubs, expensive cocktails, or blaring music, and hello to these 20 patio bar ideas.
1. Tiki Bar
Transport family and friends to Margaritaville with an outdoor tiki bar. Rattan decor, citrus-colored seating, and other tropical touches will allow you to build an island-themed bar that isn’t kitschy. (But if you want to wear Hawaiian shirts and serve drinks with tiny cocktail umbrellas, we fully support you.)
2. Poolside Bar
If you have a swimming pool and plenty of space surrounding it, building a poolside bar is only natural. Whether you go for a beach theme or not, your poolside bar is sure to be everyone’s favorite place to relax while sipping on a refreshing cocktail on those hot summer days.
3. Swim-Up Bar
You usually only see swim-up bars at the five-star resorts. Not anymore. Your swimming pool will be everyone’s favorite watering hole once you install a luxurious swim-up bar that matches—or even surpasses—what you’d see at vacation destinations.
4. Gazebo Bar
A gazebo adds another level of luxury and elegance to your backyard. But when you build a high-end bar into your gazebo, you’ll have the ultimate spot for entertaining guests on cool, beautiful nights.
5. Rustic Outdoor Tasting Room
You don’t have to jet off to Aspen to indulge in a log cabin getaway. Hire a contractor to design and build a rustic outdoor bar behind your lakeside cabin (or DIY, if you prefer) that’s perfect for hosting a winter happy hour or weekend dinner party with plenty of wine and cheese. Don’t forget to include a fireplace or fire pit.
6. Whiskey Barrel Bar
Bring the charm and atmosphere of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail to your backyard with a bar made from whiskey barrels and reclaimed wood. Consult your contractor to see if they have the materials to make your vision a reality. You can also check Etsy and Pinterest for inventive barrel designs and DIY bottle decor ideas.
7. Wine Cave-Inspired Covered Bar
If you have a secluded space on your covered porch or patio, build a bar inspired by Napa Valley’s wine caves. Dim lighting, wine barrels, and a natural stone bar will get the look started. You can take it further by adding stonework to the walls and floor and setting up large bar sets where guests can sip lush Cabernets and lively Chardonnays.
8. Murphy Bar
Remember Murphy beds? Apply that same fold-down concept to a bar. It’s a great way to save space or test the waters if you don’t want to commit to a full-size outside bar.
9. She Shed Speakeasy
Do you have a garden shed you rarely use? Repurpose it into a 1920s-style speakeasy. Get with your contractor to see how they can add a functional bar counter and window with accordion shutters or a secret door you can swing open when guests utter the correct password.
10. Outdoor Kitchen & Bar Combo
If you love cooking and entertaining, it makes sense to build an outdoor kitchen with a bar element. A full outdoor kitchen is a much bigger project than building a standalone bar, but it’s worth it if you host family dinners or large parties.
11. Boho-Style Bar
Sip spirits among the free-spirited aesthetic of your bohemian-inspired outdoor bar. Bring the look to your bar lounge by experimenting with patterned throw pillows and area rugs, investing in plants of differing heights and colors, and mixing and matching colorful weatherproof furniture where friends and family can relax wherever the mood strikes.
12. Rooftop Tavern
Take your outdoor bar experience to new heights with a rooftop tavern. Put your bar in the middle and encircle it with weatherproof seating so everyone can enjoy the view. Install a retractable awning or a few patio umbrellas for shade on sunny days.
13. At-Home Sports Bar
You need a spot to get in the game whenever your team’s season is in full swing. Consider a backyard bar with a TV, kegerator, and team memorabilia everywhere. We highly recommend serving tailgating fare like wings and burgers and starting backyard games so you can play with the kids.
14. Southwest-Inspired Saloon
To create a warm and inviting outdoor bar, look no further than the desert-inspired colors and varying textures of Southwestern style. A mixed color scheme of sun-kissed orange, dusky pink, and earthy clay and aloe will color your bar. Then bring on the tactile experience with faux-leather barstools, terra-cotta planters, and woven fabrics.
15. Modern Moroccan Bar
Bring the scenes of Casablanca to life in your backyard by building a modernized Moroccan-inspired bar. Style your gin joint with brightly colored bar stools and sofas with intricate back details where guests can sit back and sip their drinks. Choose plump jewel-toned pillows, wrought iron outdoor lamps, and hand-carved wooden wall art for decor.
16. Garden Biergarten
Build a German-style bar in your garden. Traditional Biergartens are simple setups: outdoor picnic tables or rectangular dining sets topped with large umbrellas and lights strung overhead. What matters more is what’s on tap. Hefeweizen (wheat beer), Helles (malty lager), pilsner (hoppy lager), dunkel (dark lager), and radler (half lager and half lemonade) are the drinks of choice at a Biergarten.
17. Modern Art Deco Deck Bar
Bring The Great Gatsby’s aesthetic to present day with an art deco–style deck bar. To perfect the extravagant look, try metallic touches mixed with contrasting colors and geometric patterns. Brass or gold outdoor lamps, a glossy black bar lined with same-shade bar chairs, a glass grid mirror backsplash, and a glitzy chandelier (or two) will have the 1920s roaring to your door.
18. Pergola-Topped Patio Bar
Build a pergola bar on your patio to let the light in by day and see the stars shine at night. String strands of dimmable fairy lights through the pergola’s lattice-style roof to gently illuminate every evening, and set up a fire pit set near the bar so family and friends can enjoy their refreshments by the fireside.
19. Upcycled Industrial Bar
If you love the look of corrugated metal, an industrial chic backyard bar could be right up your alley. Include reclaimed wood pallets into your bartop design, and build its roof from upcycled steel roofing panels. Add more stripped-down architectural details and decor, such as black or slate grey bar stools, a bar cart built from iron pipes, and a bare-brick backsplash.
20. Coastal Bar
Life is better at the beach. But if you don’t live near a sandy shore, slip on your sandals and shuffle out to your easy, breezy coastal-inspired bar. A bartop built from sun-bleached driftwood, gauzy outdoor curtains that float in the breeze, and other nautical flourishes (think ocean-inspired chaise lounges and Adirondacks shaded by striped patio umbrellas) will transport you to the water’s edge.