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Outdoor Bar: 30 Creative Ideas for Entertaining

By Jayme Muller

January 17, 2024

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

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

A beautiful spot to sit…

An eye-catching centerpiece for your outdoor space…

And the perfect place to channel your inner bartender.

You already know… It’s an all-around great choice.

You’re just caught up on one thing…

outdoor bar seating with food on counter

How should your outdoor bar look?

If you’re after outdoor bar ideas… You’re in the right place.

As an outdoor kitchen and bar company ourselves… We’ve helped hundreds of homeowners design the custom backyard bars of their dreams.

And today, we’re going to be sharing some of the best outdoor bar designs from our own catalog.

So without further ado, let’s check ‘em out.

QUICK LINKS:

30 Best Outdoor Bar Ideas For Your Backyard Oasis

All of the ideas you’ll see today are real-life examples from our valued customers here at RTA.

We have a lot of striking bar designs to share… So take notes!

By the end, you should feel infinitely more prepared to set your own design in action. (And we’ll tell you how to get started!)

1. Go for a Galley-Style

galley style outdoor kitchen
patio with galley style outdoor kitchen with bar island

We’ll start off with a classic outdoor kitchen bar design.

This is a textbook example of an empty countertop on one side for bar seating…

And a grill island with outdoor cooking appliances on the other.

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

Making drinks will be a breeze on one side… And you can serve your guests without having to walk more than a couple steps.

While this setup is perfect just the way it is… You should follow your own heart. Put any kind of appliance you want in your bar island, based on what your needs are.

Want more drink-making gadgets? Try an outdoor bar sink or an ice maker in addition to a standard undercounter fridge.

More concerned about the eats on the menu? Save some space for a countertop pizza oven on your outdoor bar.

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.

2. Add a Refreshment Center

Outdoor kitchen l shape with refreshment center
l shape outdoor kitchen with storage refrigerator and refreshment center

We know, we know… We just went on and on about outdoor bar appliances.

But on the flip side, it’s also okay to keep your outdoor bar more bare-bones.

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

It’s a versatile sink with a condiment station and ice bucket inside… Making it quite a popular choice for your patio bar.

It’s functional, without taking up too much counter space.

3. Factor in a Nearby Fire Pit

outdoor living space with outdoor kitchen, firepit and gazebo
outdoor grill and bar with fire pit

There’s something so nostalgic about sipping drinks and hanging with friends around an open fire.

But why leave those memories in the past? Create some new ones with a fire pit right beside your home outdoor bar.

This homeowner transformed their backyard by matching a built-in fire pit to a stunning stacked stone outdoor bar

And in the process, they made their outdoor bar island cozier, homier, and ten times more welcoming.

4. Save Space for a TV Screen

galley outdoor kitchen with bar seating and a tv

When you go out to a sports bar… Chances are, you’re hoping to catch the game while sipping on some fresh brews. (That’s kinda the whole point.)

But what if you could save the trip into town… And bring that experience to your very own backyard?

This beautiful home bar and TV idea proves this to be more than possible.

The outdoor space is perfectly completed with full roof coverage and recessed lighting… So you can comfortably enjoy sitting with a cold drink as you watch the game.

5. Make it Extra-Long

tiered outdoor kitchen with bar seating under roof with ceiling fan

This is an interesting modern outdoor bar idea… Because the outdoor bar and grill islands are at different heights.

The thoughtful design makes it easier for someone to cook at the outdoor grill station… And on the other end, you’ve got an expansive bar top for dining.

You’ll also notice that the outdoor bar chairs are at different heights… So no one is towering over the tabletop (or coming up short).

The extra-long island makes it possible for quite a few people to sit back and enjoy the space together.

And when you’re ready to take the relaxation up a notch… There’s a couch right behind the bar!

OUTDOOR BAR DESIGN TIP: Aim for a Weatherproof Outdoor Bar.

Your outdoor bar and patio furniture should be a match for Mother Nature.

Avoid cheap metal outdoor bars or wood bars. Concrete, 304 stainless steel, and HDPE are all high-quality outdoor bar materials to be on the lookout for.

Same goes for the outdoor furniture. Your bar stools should be built for outdoor use… So opt for recycled plastic, 304 stainless steel, HDPE, or synthetic wicker bar furniture. Rattan, teak, and acacia wood also have some weather resistance if you prefer a more natural look.

6. Try out a Deck Design

outdoor kitchen on deck with umbrella
bar seating and dining table with seating on deck and umbrella with outdoor tv mounted on wall

Are you after outdoor deck bar ideas? Well, here’s one that might pique your interest.

This outdoor bar setup is a beautiful mesh of light and dark browns. The rustic stacked stone finish on the outdoor kitchen bar perfectly complements the darker slatted deck.

And it all blends in very well with the wrought iron bar stools.

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

This is a great aesthetic if you’re after some flair… But don’t necessarily want a dramatic look.

7. Pick your Outdoor Bar Furniture Wisely

outdoor bar with stools on patio
outdoor dining table by pool

A white outdoor bar counter is stunning on its own… But it’s always better when your outdoor bar decor works together with the entire backyard space.

Take this outdoor island bar idea, for instance.

From the white concrete patio to the white wicker bar stools… Everything is intentional.

The few elements of black scattered around the area make the space look much more dramatic through contrast… And the curtains bring in a lovely boho aesthetic.

8. Opt for a Pizza Oven

Beer and pizza, anyone?

Including a pizza oven in your outdoor bar area is a great way to enjoy a homemade meal with friends and family in the great outdoors.

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

9. Place Your Outdoor Bar Set Under a Pergola

outdoor kitchen with bar seating on patio under a pergola
backyard with patio and pergola covering outdoor kitchen with bar

This L-shaped outdoor kitchen and bar exudes a warm, calming presence.

The boho-esque bar design has stools and outdoor storage

But the real star of the show is that pergola to block the sun… Plus the curtains for shade.

The clear cover over the pergola will further help block some UV rays and rain… Keeping you comfortable around the clock.

OUTDOOR BAR DESIGN TIP: Think of a Theme.

The theme you choose will affect your entire outdoor space… So pick one and stick with it! Look for something that matches your home or outdoor kitchen… Or go bold with a bar that’ll stand out.

Mediterranean, boho, rustic, and outdoor tiki bars are a few fan favorites… But don’t hesitate to branch out with your own creative outdoor bar ideas!

10. Create a Backyard Oasis

outdoor bar area with lighting and tv
indoor outdoor space with seating next to pool with tv

If you want an outdoor cocktail bar fit for mixing and mingling… Spare some attention to the area surrounding your outdoor bar island, too.

The outdoor party bar in question has just the right amount of seating options and floor space… Which’ll lend itself to some pretty awesome happy hours.

You’ll get to enjoy fresh grilled BBQ from the nearby outdoor kitchen… Catch a show from one of two separate wall-mount TVs... Or even relax poolside at that DIY swim-up bar.

Why ever go inside again?

11. Focus on the Food

u shape outdoor kitchen on deck with plank white with pizza oven
bar island on u shape outdoor kitchen on deck

Ever wanted to sink your teeth into beautifully smoked briskets at your outdoor bar? No?

Well, you probably do now.

This outdoor stone bar overlooks an impressive BBQ kitchen design… And our eyes are first drawn to that pellet smoker and pizza oven.

Show off your cooking chops as your guests sit nearby… And let the bar top double as an outdoor dining table to serve up freshly smoked delicacies.

12. Factor in a Water Feature

outdoor kitchen next to water feature
modern outdoor area with outdoor kitchen and water feature

In this backyard bar setup… We see an intricate water feature bordering the L-shaped outdoor kitchen with a bar.

Even though the whole shebang is only steps outside the home… A thoughtful landscaping touch like this is more than enough to fully immerse you in nature and help you de-stress after a long day.

And the best part? You don’t have to walk more than 100 yards to do so. Talk about a high reward for low effort.

13. Try an Outdoor Garden Bar Idea

l shaped grill island with bar island and seating

Your outdoor bar is, well, outside…

So why stress about buying the perfect outdoor bar decor… When you can instead take advantage of your natural surroundings?

Especially if you’re one to pride yourself for having a green thumb… Placing your outdoor bar in the garden is a great — and often less expensive — way to customize.

And in this particular design… The greenery is even used to give the custom outdoor bar a bit of extra privacy.

14. Make it Larger than Life

patio bar ideas with pavers and seating area

If you have a ton of backyard space to work with… Don’t hesitate to make the absolute most of it.

Let this large outdoor bar idea act as your inspiration.

The modern bar counter is complemented by a fire pit, outdoor furniture, a full dining set, and a detailed patio design.

And we can’t forget our personal favorite feature… The outdoor kitchen island.

15. Take Your Outdoor Bar... Inside?

u shaped outdoor kitchen with vent hood and stone backsplash

Of course you can’t actually have an enclosed outdoor bar island inside your home.

But if you want your backyard bar to be usable year round… You can consider indoor outdoor bar ideas.

Like a sunroom with plenty of windows or open walls… This unique home feature will blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living to keep you shielded, shaded, and all around more comfortable at your outside bar area.

OUTDOOR BAR DESIGN TIP: Consider the Purpose of your Patio Bar.

Do you want an outdoor patio bar specifically for serving drinks? For entertaining friends and family? Are you looking for additional seating area… Or maybe more storage and counter space?

Seriously consider the purpose of your patio bar before you put pen to paper. This’ll help you better visualize your ideal design for an outdoor bar.

FEELING INSPIRED?

Bring your own outdoor bar ideas to life with our free online design tool. 

16. Let the Bar Stools do the Talking

bar seating at a small outdoor kitchen with bright yellow stools

Bar stools may be meant for sitting down.. But that doesn’t mean they can’t stand out.

Incorporating stylish bar stools is a simple and functional way to add some visual interest to your outdoor home bar.

And if you want to go all out… You can take a page from this homeowner’s book and use your bar stools to usher in a bright and sunny pop of color alongside those more neutral hues.

17. Keep Ice-Cold Brews on Tap

stacked stone graphite bar island with refrigerator and trash and kegerator

Let’s be honest. What’s an outdoor bar without the booze?

Some would say “boring!”

Gone are the days of stuffing your cans into a rickety old bar cart or cooler and hoping they stay chilled.

Instead, you can include a shiny new stainless steel kegerator in your outdoor entertaining bar.

This’ll give you constant access to fresh, flowing brews… And an altogether more authentic bar experience that your guests will thank you for.

18. Place Your Bar Poolside

Nothing seals the deal on paradise like an outdoor pool bar.

You don’t even need a whole pool house to make it something special!

An outdoor bar table by the pool is still the perfect place to be after taking a quick dip.

19. Make an All-in-One Entertaining Space

drop in cooler in rta island with drinks inside
u shape style stacked stone outdoor kitchen 2

Maybe you want to set up the perfect outdoor party bar… Drinks, food, and all.

If so… You should lean into the outdoor bar accessories!

You can include plenty of storage shelves… A drop-in ice bucket… A sink… And an outdoor bar refrigerator for the drink-making…

And for the eats? Don’t skimp out. This homeowner shows that more is always merrier with — not one — but two built-in grills right beside their outdoor entertainment bar.

20. Try a Grayscale Color Scheme

bar island with seating and outdoor tv

The right color palette can go a long way in completing your outdoor bar plans.

Just one look at this outdoor bar idea shows us why.

This backyard modern outdoor bar idea favors cool tones. We’re seeing a lot of whites, grays, and blacks.

But they didn’t just leave it there. The warmth of the outdoor bar seating offsets the neutrals perfectly.

Altogether, this smart use of color creates an elegant — and inviting! — atmosphere.

Everything looks so intentional… And we love to see it.

OUTDOOR BAR DESIGN TIP: Draw on Color Schemes.

Whether you’re cool with neutrals or big on bright and bold… Color is your outdoor bar design’s best friend.

Use your bar stools, dining sets, umbrellas, cushions, and decor to bring a pop of color to your outdoor bar area.

For the minimalists out there… Identify neutral decor that complements the hue of your outdoor cocktail bar.

21. Double up on the Dining Area

If just one outdoor bar seating area doesn’t quite cut it… Don’t stop there.

In this space, complementary patio furniture behind the outdoor bar adds even more room for dining… Which means more room for hosting your home bar parties.

Roll up your sleeves and get to mixing drinks… Because the whole neighborhood is going to be vying for a seat beside this outdoor bar setup.

22. Skip The Seats Altogether

Doing a complete 180 shift… This outdoor bar idea skips out on the seating area altogether.

Instead, the island is jam-packed with useful outdoor bar accessories.

The fridge and pull-out trash cabinet will make cooking in the attached outdoor kitchen so much more convenient… And all that extra counter space certainly won’t go unappreciated.

23. Create a Cozy & Functional Outdoor Living Room

galley style outdoor kitchen under gazebo with bar lighting

Join us under the farmhouse-style roof and fully immerse yourself in this covered outdoor bar idea.

Your eyes probably first went to those galley-style bar height islands.

At these, you have everything you need to prepare and serve drinks. A sink, a fridge, and a drop-in cooler are the main players.

Looking past this bar setup… You’ll also notice an inviting patio furniture set.

You can top off your refreshments at the bar… And enjoy them in complete comfort at the outdoor lounge.

24. Add an Umbrella

l shaped rta outdoor kitchen with umbrella and bar seating on patio
small l shaped outdoor kitchen with bar seating and bar table with umbrella on patio

This simple outdoor kitchen bar idea is about as no-frills as it gets… And sometimes, that’s just what you need.

With that lush green backyard framing the patio bar area… What else could you possibly ask for?

Well, there is one thing. An umbrella!

Affixed directly over the wicker bar stools… You can enjoy the outdoor scenery, without getting scorched by the sun.

Who says you need a full outdoor bar with a roof to stay comfortable?

DESIGN TIP: Install an Outdoor Kitchen.

You’ve seen quite a few examples of this by now… But an outdoor bar doesn’t just have to be for drinks! You can also create a beautiful gathering spot for alfresco dining by adding an outdoor kitchen alongside your bar island.

25. String up Some Lights

galley style outdoor bar

If you want to add ambiance to your outdoor bar… Lighting is the way to go.

It’s the best way to ensure that your outdoor bar setup looks good, both day and night.

This idea shows that you don’t have to go all out with the lighting to add a nice vibe.

Simple touches like string lighting can really do some heavy lifting to round out your outdoor patio bar.

26. Use Furniture to Add Flow

patio idea with dining area and outdoor kitchen

Here’s another great example that showcases how make-or-break outdoor patio furniture can be to your backyard bar area.

This large patio design features a few different elements. You’ve got the fire pit, a dining table, and — of course — the bar tabletop with stools.

There’s a lot going on!

But what do all of these different elements have in common?

The furniture.

Each corner of this outdoor space uses teak outdoor furniture with sleek white cushioning… Adding intentionality and flow throughout.

27. Try A Rustic Flair

bar island with stool and patio next to house in reclaimed brick white

If you like a country vibe… This rustic outdoor bar idea might be for you.

Here, we see a reclaimed white brick bar island and matching outdoor kitchen.

The rustic white finish is offset by recycled plastic, faux-wood bar stools… While homespun decor and a small pop of greenery delicately frame the space.

These small touches add the perfect amount of visual interest to complete the island… And manage to usher in an undeniably rustic flair.

28. Use a Matching Patio Bar Set

l shaped stacked stone chalk grill island with bar island

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

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

The white bar stools match the outdoor bar and overhead awning… And the marbled beige patio brings a classy warmth to the area.

29. Make Your Bar Part of a Pool House

outdoor bar island with seating and dining table with seating on patio under roof

Here’s yet another poolside outdoor bar idea… With a creative twist.

This homeowner has maximized their outdoor space by placing their bar beneath a pool house roof.

The faux-outdoor wooden bar finish perfectly matches this wooden roof covering… Tying the space together splendidly.

Plus, you’ll get to enjoy that stunning inground pool from two vantage points.

30. Rely on Your Natural Surroundings

rustic outdoor bar

This final bar idea perfectly demonstrates the importance of proper placement.

We hardly have to tell you why… We mean, just look at that view.

The stone outdoor kitchen bar overlooks a stunning natural mountain range and striking blue sky.

Just sit at the bar, enjoy a drink, and bask in that scenery… Day or night.

Alright. That’s all for today.

Now that your head is swimming with all sorts of outdoor bar ideas… What’s next?

Getting Your Own Outdoor Bar

bar seating featured image

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

But there’s a simple solution.

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

We specialize in outdoor kitchen bars… And would be more than happy to help you achieve your own setup.

As we mentioned… All of the ideas you saw today were from our happy RTA customers! So, you’ve already gotten a taste for what’s possible.

But what about our process?

It’s simple.

You start with our easy-to-use online design tool.

You’ll be able to pick the layout, size, configuration, appliances, finish, and countertops…

From there, you’ll get a free 3D rendering and access to AR technology to check out your bar design from all angles, in your own space.

You’ll also get connected with a Design Expert, ready to give you one-on-one advice.

In no time, you’ll have the perfect outdoor bar for your needs.

We can’t wait to see your design!

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.

FAQ

The price of outdoor bars varies quite a bit.

A handy DIY-er using cheap materials may be able to whip up a simple, small bar design for under $1,000.

Hiring someone else to build a larger or more complex outdoor bar could cost upwards of $10,000 or more… Especially once you start adding electricity or plumbing into the mix.

How decked out your bar is will largely determine the cost.

An outdoor bar is an outdoor living feature most commonly used for serving food and drink to guests.

It’s a long bar “table,” where guests will sit on one side, and a server stands on the other.

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