When I first bought my house in 2003, one of the main draws to the place was the bar area. Homebrewing for me was still five years away but I loved the idea of having a "man cave". The bar was in place but I tiled the bar floor and carpeted the TV area. I added the flat screen and just recently, replaced the bar which a larger much more functional area. And nine years later, it's still my favorite place in the house.
On the left is the old bar. Very simple L-shape with kegerator off to the side. Storage was minimal and it could only sit two, maybe three people. I knew there was a better use of the space out there, so I went into design mode.
The new bar build began in May of 2012 and was completed about a month later. I wanted it to be more functional and have more storage space. There needed to be running tap lines and a place for my kegerator. I didn't add a "wet" bar because our utility room for the house is around the corner and through a doorway, and it has a sink. To add a sink to the actual bar, I would have had to dig up the foundation and tile to run drainage and water lines...no thanks! Not when I already had a sink about ten feet away. There is now more seating and all the amenities that come with a real bar. Rail, foot rests, etc.
Since my carpentry experience consists of building a fire wood rack, I employed a buddy of mine named Dustin Radick to build the bar for me. Dustin is a carpenter who has done a lot of work around our house the last few years. We met initially for the design and then I turned him loose. I debated in my head and with my pocketbook about what materials the bar should be made of. Wood, yes...but what kind? And what about the all important bar top? How much was everything going to cost? From a wood perspective, I went with Birch for the bar sides and decorative areas. Birch has excellent hardness and wear-resistance. For the bar top, it dawned on me one morning that I had some leftover 3.25" hardfloor made of Red Oak left over from when we put down new hardwood floor in the kitchen. So I went with that for the bar top. This saved me a bundle of $! Once construction was complete, I finished the bar with stain and multiple coats of polyurathane. I looked at an epoxy or gym coat for the finish on top. But I didn't have experience working with those so I went with good ole' poly. I might even add a couple more coats of poly in the Fall to make it even more durable and shiny. The only thing I'm still looking into are new barstools. Until I find some I like, I've got my old ones. Finally, I upgraded to a three tap draft tower complete with Perlick faucets.
All in all, I'm thrilled with the way it turned out! Stop by anytime for a pint!