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Outdoor Bar: 11 Creative Ideas for Your Backyard

By Jayme Muller

October 26, 2022

Everyone wants a backyard that’s functional, beautiful, and relaxing.

What better way to get all three than with a home outdoor bar?

A beautiful spot to sit…

A cool design that makes your backyard space pop…

And the perfect place for making drinks and serving dinner!

It’s a great choice… So the only thing left is to think about what you want yours to look like!

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l shaped outdoor kitchen with sink and bar seating

Outdoor Bar Theme Inspiration

family sitting at outdoor kitchen bar under gondola

When you’re looking for the best outdoor bar… You’ll want to think about the design!

There are so many options out there… So one of them is sure to speak to you.

The theme you choose will affect your entire outdoor space.

Some people look for something that matches the theme of their home or existing outdoor kitchen

While others look for something that stands out and gives their outdoor space a pop.

It’s also an opportunity to give your backyard an entirely new vibe!

Speaking of… Let’s look at a few outdoor bar themes. 

Want to bring your idea to life?

Use our free 3D design tool to bring the outdoor kitchen of your dreams to reality in just a few minutes.

Tiki Bar Design for Outdoor Bar

tiki bar with cocktails

If you want an island oasis in your own backyard… A tiki bar outdoors is the way to go!

Thatched roofing and bamboo fencing are key materials…

But other light-colored woods will also give it the tropical vibe.

Bamboo patio furniture and bar stools bring the space together!

And if you need extra decor… Hibiscus flowers, surfboards, and tiki masks add the perfect final touch.

You can even find wicker outdoor tiki torches to add some extra light! Outdoor wicker bar stools are a nice touch, too.

Before you know it, you’ll have the perfect spot for fruity rum drinks!

You’ll feel like you’re in an island paradise no matter where you live.

Outdoor Entertaining Drink Bar

bar seating with refreshment center and refrigerator

Here’s an idea if you want to set up your outdoor bar specifically for drinks and entertainment.

With this theme… Focus on appliances that will make it quick and easy to serve up refreshments.

For example, you can install a kegerator right into your bar… So you’ll have drinks on tap!

Then, an outdoor sink or refreshment center is a must for getting fresh water.

A refreshment center in particular is a handy appliance.

For example, Coyote Outdoor Living’s refreshment center has a drop-in cooler with a drain and a removable condiment tray insert. You’ll also get a bottle shelf, towel holder, and a bottle opener.

Of course, you’ll need a place to store canned drinks… So an outdoor refrigerator will be helpful.

Finally, whether you’re serving cocktails or water… Consider an outdoor ice maker!

You can even find different ice makers that make different shapes of ice… Like cubes, spheres, or even top hats (yes, really!).

Boho Outdoor Bar

small outdoor kitchen with outdoor seating under a pergola

If you enjoy an artsy aesthetic and want a laid-back outdoor bar… You might enjoy the bohemian look.

The term itself is a bit broad (meaning “unconventional”)… So your options are limitless.

It’s often characterized by patterned fabrics and natural wood tones.

Some of the more popular looks in this theme include rattan bar furniture and outdoor bar stools.

If your space is under an outdoor roof… You might see hanging plants and chairs.

Some people also enjoy pergolas or gazebos… With string lighting and curtains hanging down the sides.

Curtains will give a whimsical look… And can offer some shade and privacy!

Stone Outdoor Bar

u shaped outdoor kitchen with bar seating right next to house

If you want a classic look for your outdoor bar… An outdoor stone bar is the way to go!

This can give a bistro vibe… Or just be a traditional sturdy and classy backyard bar.

Stone comes in all kinds of colors and shapes… But just like with a stone outdoor kitchen, our recommendation is actually to use concrete.

Believe it or not… You can make concrete look just like real stone! And it won’t come with the issues a real stone bar might have.

Real stone can be expensive… And veneer can pop off.

Concrete can give you the look of a beautiful, stacked stone outdoor bar without worrying about either of those issues… And it’s extremely durable!

Regardless of whether you use real stone or not… You might also want some beautiful, classy bar stools.

Natural Outdoor Bar

outdoor bar on patio with bar seating

Maybe the natural look is more your style.

If so, you might enjoy a wood bar and outdoor furniture.

Just like with stone… We actually don’t recommend using real wood.

It can rot and warp… And your outdoor patio bar set could be damaged!

Instead… Concrete is a weather-resistant alternative that can save the day.

An outdoor bar set made of concrete can mimic the look of planked wood in a variety of colors.

But if you’re set on using real wood… Teak and acacia wood are two popular options that are beloved for their weatherproof qualities.

You may also enjoy placing potted and hanging plants around your space!

The greens of your backyard plants will look great against natural wood colors in a home bar!

Mediterranean Outdoor Bar

moks outdoor kitchen with bar and stools on patio

If you want something to liven up your outdoor living space… A light and bright outdoor bar might be the solution!

This will stand out against the rest of your yard in all the best ways.

It even has a subtle Mediterranean aesthetic.

How do you achieve the look?

By using whites and other light colors!

You can make a white bar to use as a dining table… And have a matching outdoor bar cart for wine and glassware!

And if you want decorations… Many people include lightly-colored umbrellas and lights!

For patterns, using a bit of tile on a nearby accent wall is a popular choice… Especially if you want to feel like you’re in Greece.

Shaded Outdoor Bar

l shaped outdoor kitchen on patio by pool

Whether it’s a blistering hot, sunny day or a cloudy rainy day… It’s nice to have the option to enjoy your outdoor space when the weather isn’t ideal. 

What’s the solution?

A roof over your outdoor bar!

You have so many options… From an awning to a gazebo, or even a pergola!

You can also use an outdoor roof as a design element. You can grow vines on the top of a pergola… Or hang string lighting down from your gazebo.

Electricity can even be run through some outdoor roofs… So you’ll be able to install a ceiling fan or lights above your outdoor bar by setting up your outdoor utilities.

Shading your outdoor bar is the easiest way to make it feel comfortable and transform your backyard into an extension of your indoor living room.

Rustic Outdoor Bar Ideas

Rustic wood bar seating

If you like a country vibe… A rustic outdoor bar might be for you!

These bars will often use corrugated, galvanized steel for the sides of the bar… And a wooden frame to hold it in place.

Other people will use a steel frame… And wooden pallets for the sides.

The countertop materials vary… But using a thick piece of stained wood is quite common.

Many people will use bar stools that have a wooden seat… But metal legs.

Even if they have an outdoor ice machine… Many people will use a wooden ice bucket to stow drinks for parties.

If you really want to go for the rustic look… Putting some cacti into your landscaping will make your outdoor bar look right at home.

A wood outdoor bar is also an easier option to DIY.

Dramatic Outdoor Bar

tamara day l shaped outdoor kitchen on deck with refreshment center and bar seating

If you like bold, contrasting colors… A dramatic outdoor bar is for you.

This is the kind of aesthetic where you need your whole backyard area to match the theme.

While there are all manner of contrasting colors out there… What’s more classic than black and white? 

Think about a bright, white island… And a black bar counter. Or vice versa!

A black or white rug will help as well… And you can also add an outdoor roof!

A gazebo or pergola of your choice can be either white or black to help balance out the bold colors… Or tone down the colors if you would prefer an outdoor roof in more natural colors!

Poolside Outdoor Bar

u shaped outdoor kitchen next to a pool photographed from above

We talked about a coastal tiki aesthetic… And even a Mediterranean look with a brightly colored bar…

But nothing seals the deal on paradise like an outdoor pool bar.

Forget a pool house… An outdoor bar table by the pool is the place to be after swimming!

It’s common to make the design of your outdoor patio bar table match the design of your pool… Which is typically stone.

The colors can match, and these two backyard features will form a cohesive look!

And if you’re looking for the perfect trifecta… Don’t stop there! A fire pit will elevate your space even more.

The Outdoor Gathering Spot

Use our free 3D design tool to create the perfect outdoor bar hang out spot!

Outdoor Kitchen Bar Ideas

mike pyle modern large u shaped outdoor kitchen with pizza oven and bar seating

An outdoor bar doesn’t just have to be for drinks!

You could also create a beautiful spot for alfresco outdoor dining as well.

You can install an outdoor kitchen and bar!

Maybe you want your bar to just be an island section of a larger outdoor kitchen. An L-shaped outdoor kitchen or U-shaped outdoor kitchen would be a good start for this.

Or, maybe you want your bar section to be totally separate.

In this case, a galley layout might be preferable. You have a separate bar and grill island facing each other.

The bar section could be plain, just for eating and drinking… And your outdoor kitchen can be decked out with everything you need to cook and create drinks.

This is a good idea for small backyard spaces because you can split them up and position them wherever fits best.

Pop of Color for Your Outdoor Bar

bar seating at a small outdoor kitchen with bright yellow stools

We’ve talked about some pretty dramatic outdoor bar aesthetics… And some very traditional ones.

But what if you want something classic… With just a little something extra?

A small pop of color is the way to go!

You could have an outdoor bar made out of your typical outdoor bar materials… And then have the bar stools in your favorite color!

Or, perhaps you could install an umbrella stand into your bar countertop. An umbrella has every possible color and pattern option you could hope for!

And best of all? It’s interchangeable!

Put in the color of your favorite sports team on game day… And maybe your favorite color on other days!

All this to say… You have so many options for styles and designs.

This is your space… And you can really make it all your own!

So let’s look at a few outdoor bar ideas that really stand out… And you can find what speaks to you!

Outdoor Bar Ideas

You’ve heard about all kinds of different styles… But let’s see a few in practice!

What kinds of configurations can you get? How will the sizing work out in a real backyard?

Let’s see!

Galley-Style Outdoor Bar

galley style outdoor bar

This bar is a great example of an empty countertop on one side for sitting…

And a grill island with cooking appliances on the other!

The chef (or bartender) can easily walk between the two islands.

Making drinks will be a breeze on one side… And you can serve your guests right away without having to walk at all!

You can put any kind of appliance you want in your island as well… Based on what your needs are!

If you want more drink-making appliances… You could get an outdoor bar sink, an ice maker, and a refrigerator.

You’ll also notice that the height of the outdoor bar is higher than the island with the appliances… This is for added comfort when guests sit!

Outdoor Bar with Stainless Steel Sink

This outdoor backyard bar is almost empty… Except for an outdoor refreshment center.

You’ll have space for one or two people to stand at the bar… While someone else grabs ice and water!

On top of that, a refreshment center is perfect for dining opportunities, too. It has a condiment station inside… So it’s the best setup for barbecues served buffet-style!

Covered Outdoor Bar

outdoor kitchen with bar seating on patio under a pergola

This L-shaped outdoor kitchen with bar gives off a warm, calming presence.

This boho-esque design has bar stools… Outdoor storage inside… A pergola to block the sun… And even curtains for shade!

The clear cover over the pergola will help block some UV rays… And the rain during a stormy day!

They even put in string lighting… Making this a beautiful spot for backyard parties and events.

White Stone Outdoor Bar

galley outdoor kitchen with bar island and seating

The best way to brighten up a space is with light colors.

This concrete countertop and stacked stone finish look stunning against the bright green foliage in the background.

The white stools match the outdoor bar and the pillars… And the fireplace by the outdoor kitchen brings a classy warmth to the area.

Finally, the sink in the bar helps make hosting and providing refreshments a breeze!

Outdoor Bar with Roof

custom rta outdoor kitchen under roof structure with tv

When you go out to a sports bar… Chances are, you want to watch TV!

So why not bring that to your own backyard?

This beautiful gazebo has shaded the space perfectly so that you can enjoy sitting with a cold drink… And watch the game!

Backyard Modern Outdoor Bar Ideas

tiered outdoor kitchen with bar seating under roof with ceiling fan

This is an interesting modern outdoor bar design… Because the outdoor bar and grill island are at different heights!

It makes it easier for someone to cook at the outdoor grill station on one end… And the outdoor bar chairs are also different heights, so no one is uncomfortable!

It’s also an extra long island… So quite a few people can sit back and enjoy the space together.

And when you’re ready to kick back… There’s a couch right behind it!

The gazebo has electricity, so a fan will keep the space cool… And you can watch the canal regardless of the weather outside.

Creative Outdoor Bar Idea

bar island with seating under an umbrella on deck

This outdoor bar is a beautiful mesh of light and dark browns… With a pop of color!

It blends in very well with the dark brown rattan sofa and coffee table beside it.

These deep, dark colors make the cherry red of the umbrella and pillows outstandingly eye-catching and beautiful.

This is a great aesthetic if you’re looking for some flair… Without going for a dramatic look.

Outdoor Bar Island with Pizza Oven

moks outdoor grill station with bar seating

Beer and pizza, anyone?

The outdoor pizza oven on the grill island is a great way to enjoy a meal with friends and family.

Everyone can make their own pizza… And then enjoy it together at the outdoor bar area!

This outdoor bar also has an outlet on the side… So you could plug in any indoor appliance you wanted, like a blender for smoothies!

Outdoor Bar with Stools

outdoor bar with stools on patio

A white outdoor bar kitchen is always beautiful… But this entire backyard space works so well together.

Even the concrete is a light color to match!

The real fun is how the outdoor bar furniture brings in elements of black. They make the space look much more dramatic through the contrast. (And the curtains bring in a lovely boho aesthetic!)

The canopies and pool chairs bring in small amounts of dark colors… Making the white of this outdoor bar cabinet  pop even more!

Outdoor Bar Plans with Bold Colors

bar seating at sqaure outdoor kitchen on patio

If you want to keep most things subtle, but enjoy a big pop of color… Loud metal outdoor bar stools are the way to go!

This entire backyard patio is perfectly set up to match. The whites of the outdoor bar, outdoor bar countertop, and even the house go so well with the wooden pergola and white canopy.

But then, the sunny yellow of the outdoor bar seating catches your eye!

You can do this in any color you’d like. Cherry red, crystal blue, bright green… Or whatever your favorite color may be!

Hopefully you feel the inspiration after looking at all of these images… But it’s a different story making it happen!

You’ve seen some great styles in action… But how will you get your very own?

Getting Your Own Outdoor Bar

When you’re looking to build a DIY outdoor bar… The options can be overwhelming!

There are so many designs and themes… And it may seem like there’s no easy way to make it come to fruition.

But there’s actually a simple option.

If you want a custom outdoor bar… RTA is here to help!

While we typically specialize in outdoor kitchen bars… We also would be more than happy to help you host the best outdoor parties ever with your very own outdoor bar.

Our process is simple.

You start with our easy-to-use free Design Tool.

You’ll be able to pick the layout, size, configuration, appliances, finish, and countertops… So if you want an outdoor bar with a sink, you’re covered!

Then, you’ll get a free 3D rendering… And our Design Experts will take it from there!

You’ll get one-on-one expert advice… And the perfect outdoor bar for your needs.

We can’t wait to see your design!

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Need Help With Your Plans?

Talk to one of our expert designers and they will guide you from planning to installation. Schedule a call today.

Q&A

When you’re looking to make a simple outdoor bar… Most people will start by creating a frame. This can be made of either wood or metal, although we don’t recommend using wood. From there, you can use cement board to create a hard surface. Then, apply a scratch coat, cladding materials, and the finish. Install your countertops and appliances, and you’re done!

To build an outdoor bar for outdoor patios can cost less than $1,000 for a handy DIY’er. Hiring someone else to build a complex or large bar, especially with electricity or water for a sink and ice machine, could cost upwards of $10,000. How decked out your bar is will largely determine the cost.

The minimum depth for a bar top should be 12 inches… And you should have a 12 to 18-inch overhang. You should allow for about 6 inches between each bar stool you want… Or 3 feet per stool. Bar stools that swivel might require a few extra inches each. Your outdoor kitchen area may range anywhere from about 7 feet long to as large as you’d like!

The first outdoor tiki bar was created in California in the 1950’s when Ernest Gantt opened his first tiki restaurant! However, the original outdoor bars date back at least as far as ancient Greece and Rome.

An outdoor bar is a place where you can serve food and drinks. It is a long “bar” table, where guests will sit on one side, and the server will stand on the other. There is typically storage on the server’s side, so that they may make drinks. In a backyard space, this can have many different looks, so read this blog to get some inspiration for your own! 

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