Outdoor Living

10 Steps to Creating a Backyard Pub

Bistro Set

Enjoy happy hour anytime in your own backyard bar

If you enjoy spending time in your backyard with family and friends, having an outdoor bar set-up is essential for entertaining during parties, weekend BBQs, and special occasions. Whether it is a standalone feature or integrated as part of your complete outdoor home chef’s kitchen, an outdoor bar will help make your backyard a destination spot you can enjoy anytime.

Depending on your budget and available space, your bar can be as simple as a portable bar cart you wheel onto the patio, a medium-size tiki bar cabana, or as elaborate as an outdoor pub with a built-in counter, bar sink, wine refrigerator, and bistro tables or patio bar furniture. If you want to create a designed spot on your patio or backyard to practice your mixology skills on your guests, here’s some tips and items to consider when adding a backyard bar to your home’s outdoor spaces.

Location, location, location

The first step in creating your backyard pub is to choose a spot that’s conveniently located and allows guests to move freely about the yard. You’ll want within close access to the indoors for when you need to restock food and drink from your indoor kitchen, but not so close as to impede foot traffic moving in and out the house as guests arrive. If you have an inground pool, a corner of the pool deck makes a great spot. You can also have your bar set up on part of your patio or deck, or use a separate section of your larger outdoor living space.

Bar Stools

Add some bar stools or bistro tables and chairs

Your guests will want a place to sit and chat and mingle over drinks, so you will need to choose some patio furniture to add to your designated bar area. If your backyard pub has its own counterspace, you can place some outdoor bar stools where people can sit and indulge cocktails, snacks, and conversation while you concoct their beverages of choice. Along with some stools, add a few small bistro sets or bar tables with chairs, leaving enough space between them to allow a good flow of traffic as people come to your bar to get their beverages and mingle with other guests. If your bar area is not in a covered space, be sure to add some patio umbrellas to create some needed shade.

Bar carts let you move about

A bar cart is ideal if you have a small space or don’t want to commit to a more permanent pub for your outdoor entertainment space. It will hold your bar essentials while being completely portable for use both inside your house and in your yard. Even if you have a larger bar counter or designated pub space, you can use a bar cart to bring drinks and appetizers to your guests rather than waiting for them to belly up to the bar.

Stock up on barware

Every bar needs a good selection of barware. Along with an assortment of wine, beer, mixers, and spirits, your backyard pub should be well stocked with a variety of essentials you will use to craft cocktails and serve both soft drinks, wine, and mixed drinks. Be sure to have the following on hand:

  •  Bar tools
  •  Corkscrew
  •  Cocktail shaker
  •  Bar glasses
  •  Stirrers
  •  Coasters
  •  Ice bucket
  •  Blender
  •  Decanters
  •  Serving trays
  •  Cooler to keep bottled and canned beverages chilled
  • Drinkware

    Serve it up with festive drinkware

    Keep the drinks flowing in a selection of drinkware. Make sure your backyard bar has a selection of beverage glasses on hand, so you always have the right glass to serve a wide range of popular drinks. Start with some basic drink glasses that allow you to serve a variety of beverages. The most common glasses to stock are:

  •  Highball glasses
  •  Beer glasses
  •  Double Old Fashioned or lowball glasses
  •  Wine glasses (for both red and wine)
  •  Champagne flutes (for sparkling wines)
  •  Mugs for tea and coffee
  • As your bartending skills increase, you can add specialty glasses to your selection. These can include:

  •  Collins glasses
  •  Brandy snifters
  •  Margarita glasses
  •  Irish coffee mugs
  •  Shot glasses
  •  Copper mugs (for Moscow mules and spiced hot cider)
  •  Cordial glasses (designed for specific liqueurs and cocktails)
  • If you are worried about glasses getting dropped and broken on cement patios, choose drinkware made of durable and break-resistant plastics that is designed specifically for outdoor use.

    Define the space with an outdoor area rug

    If your backyard bar and entertainment area is in a covered patio or outdoor living space, consider adding an outdoor area rug to help define chat and eating zones. A rug is a great way to give your outdoor pub added stylish, texture, warmth and comfort underfoot.

    Outdoor Sofas

    Encourage relaxation with lounge furniture

    Once plied with food and drink, you and your guests will want to sit back and relax while soaking up the fresh air and sunshine. A great set of patio lounge furniture will let you do just that in both comfort and style. The ideal conversation area will have an outdoor sofa or loveseat, some lounge chairs, and a coffee table and side tables to hold your drinks.

    String up lights for ambiance

    A good party lasts into the night. Make sure your backyard bar is well lit and full of ambiance when the sun goes down. Decorative and functional string lights give you a fun and easy way to illuminate your backyard pub without worrying about hardwiring fixtures. All you need is access to an outdoor outlet and posts or hooks mounted to an exterior wall to anchor the strand of lights. You’ll find a wide ranges of styles, lengths, and types of string lights including LED, solar-powered, battery-operated, and novelty designs.

    Extend the outdoor season with patio heaters

    When the days and nights get a little cooler, you can still enjoy your outdoor spaces and entertain guests into the fall season. All you need is a patio heater or two to ward off the chill, add a little bit of light, and create a cozy ambiance. Choose from freestanding or tabletop models that are operated via propane gas, natural gas, or electric to suit your space.

    Weatherized TVs

    You got game with a big screen TV

    Game day is the perfect excuse for a get-together. With a weatherized TV, you and your guests can enjoy play-by-play action while you eat and drink. Designed for use in both covered and uncovered outdoor areas, these TVS are designed to withstand the elements so you watch the game, stream your favorite shows, or play video games on the big screen while you cook out.

    It’s easier than you think to create an awesome backyard bar everyone will enjoy with some creativity and a little bit of effort. Investing in your own garden pub gives you a place to relax that’s always stocked with your favorite drinks without the hassle of a night out on the town. Plus, the bar is always open! Browse and shop Riverbend Home’s outdoor garden pub collection to find the products you need to turn your backyard into a congenial and comfortable place to host your next celebration.