(Topic ID: 219801)

DIY Bar Ideas


By Bax1

10 months ago



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  • 48 posts
  • 28 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 months ago by lpeters82
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

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    #1 10 months ago

    So wife dropped a bomb on me today. she said she wants me to build a bar in the basement and get rid of some games. I will be keeping all or most of my pins and probably losing some arcade games. So need some ideas of something I can build, make it look awesome, and not cost an arm and a leg. Post some pics of your home made bars to help give me some ideas.

    #2 10 months ago

    This is what I built about 2 1/2 years ago. It is completely custom. Full wet bar with a fridge, dedicated icemaker and wine fridge (which I use to keep vodka at the right temperature). The floor looks awesome but was really cheap - slate tiles from Home Depot. I bought about 3x the amount of boxes needed and handpicked the best tiles. The cabinets on the back bar are the order-to-spec and come shipped flat. The pillar in the bar is one of the metal support beams that I custom-cased. The rest of the beams in the basement have the same casing and trim details, but painted in white rather than stained. I ran LED lighting under the bar front, under the working surface, under counter on the back bar and above the cabinets. It is full-color and effects (works awesome in Maize and Blue during Michigan football games or Crimson and Blue for Kansas Basketball games).

    It wasn't cheap, but it cost about 1/5th of what the lowest quote I got for a contractor to do the work. The bar stools match the poker table and chairs to give it a finished look. If I had it to do over again, I don't know if I would have changed anything.

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    #3 10 months ago

    I can't even count the number of houses I've seen with bars that were more often neglected than not and ended up being stuff catchers. It's not too common that I actually see one maintained and looking like it gets some use.

    If you regularly have people over anyway, sure why not. But if it's being built as an excuse to have people over, it's probably not going to get used much after the honeymoon/break-in period of having it.

    #4 10 months ago

    Give her this set up I’m sure she’ll be thrilled....not !

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    #5 10 months ago
    Quoted from bonzo442:

    Give her this set up I’m sure she’ll be thrilled....not !

    It's not a big setup, but it looks like it's got great ambience. Nice lights, Neon is mandatory.

    #6 10 months ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I can't even count the number of houses I've seen with bars that were more often neglected than not and ended up being stuff catchers. It's not too common that I actually see one maintained and looking like it gets some use.
    If you regularly have people over anyway, sure why not. But if it's being built as an excuse to have people over, it's probably not going to get used much after the honeymoon/break-in period of having it.

    You actually have seen more bars in homes than you can count?? Even as a contractor I rarely came across homes with a bar of any sort, much less the classic barcade setup that Is ideal for any pin collector that likes to tilt a few.
    Maybe you live in a more affluent area, but there's plenty of cash to go around in the homes I've worked in and home bars were still rare.

    #7 10 months ago
    Quoted from Honch:

    It's not a big setup, but it looks like it's got great ambience. Nice lights, Neon is mandatory.

    Thanks ! I love it & so do my friends but my wife...not so much
    I have 5 machines not shown in pic but all right there close by

    #8 10 months ago
    Quoted from bonzo442:

    Thanks ! I love it & so do my friends but my wife...not so much
    I have 5 machines not shown in pic but all right there close by

    Youre welcome.
    Sorry to hear that your wife doesn't like it. My ex wife loved our setup. I never regretted building my own bar. And I had a good amount of neon in my game room too. It just doesn't feel like a game room without some neon. I look forward to having a setup like that again some day.

    #9 10 months ago

    May the cocktails be with you.

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    #10 10 months ago

    There’s a pinball bar in Minneapolis called “Tilt” that has a really cool bar built with playfields.

    Here are a couple of bad pics taken from Yelp.

    I believe they used some sort of clear epoxy on top to protect the surface.

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    #11 10 months ago

    I'd do a smaller scale Giger Bar if I were you.

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    #12 10 months ago
    Quoted from bonzo442:

    Give her this set up I’m sure she’ll be thrilled....not !

    I myself would be more comfortable in this type of bar than the fancy well-lit ones and would seem a more logical fit to pinball in general.

    I have a good friend who just put a bar in his McMansion and he had all these cool ideas of how to make a creative bartop (bottle caps lacquered into the top, coins, Coors memorabilia (we live near Golden CO))...

    In the end, he took the expeditious and easier route and used granite and it is super nice looking (and resale of the house is ensured), but looks more like the Continental Breakfast area of your nearby hotel than a bar. We go over and I'm hankering to make myself a waffle.....

    #13 10 months ago

    It has its advantages like I don’t worry to much about spills and such

    #14 10 months ago

    We built this inexpensive bar a few years back and it has served us well:

    Cheers!
    ~Steveo

    #15 10 months ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I can't even count the number of houses I've seen with bars that were more often neglected than not and ended up being stuff catchers. It's not too common that I actually see one maintained and looking like it gets some use.
    If you regularly have people over anyway, sure why not. But if it's being built as an excuse to have people over, it's probably not going to get used much after the honeymoon/break-in period of having it.

    Mine gets used quite often. And now that my oldest is 21, as are almost all of his friends, it has a second life when he entertains. The refrigerator in the bar has to be refilled at least weekly and, often, much more. Mine has never been a "stuff catcher", but I also believe if you design it to fit your lifestyle it will be used often. Plus, if it looks nice, then the wife and her friends see it as accessible and not just some mancave item.

    #16 10 months ago

    I've thinking about doing this in the mostly empty basement of the house I just bought.

    It has all this cedar which I'm told is super cool and valuable but doubt the hippies I'd eventually resale to would like it. Thoughts?

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    #17 10 months ago
    Quoted from benheck:

    I've thinking about doing this in the mostly empty basement of the house I just bought.
    It has all this cedar which I'm told is super cool and valuable but doubt the hippies I'd eventually resale to would like it. Thoughts?

    I like the toilet just sitting out in the open there. I don't know if hippies like cedar or not but you could put in a nice little bar back in that corner there .

    #18 10 months ago

    I serviced a guy's machine who had a real urinal in the basement.

    Just a tiny piss closet with a sink.

    Coolest idea I ever saw when the women have all the regular bathrooms clogged up at a party.

    #19 10 months ago

    Nothing fancy here. Made basically just a couple bars for sitting, holding drinks and snacks. People use them constantly at all my gatherings. We didn't do a wet bar obviously, but these serve the purpose well while people play pinball and shuffleboard. Best of all, they don't really take up any big space and they feel like a good use of space at events.

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    #20 10 months ago

    Nothing fancy in my garage either. I’ve had an old bar I drug with me all the way through college. I matched it up with a waterbed headboard for the back bar ahaha.

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    #21 10 months ago

    I have this one and surprisingly it’s rarely used, though it sure looks good. A simple and much cheaper round table in the middle of my games gets 10 times the use. Who would have thought.

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    #22 10 months ago

    I made mine a few years back .

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    #23 10 months ago

    Beer taps in the wall , the kegerator is on the other side of that wall . Nothing too fancy but it gets a decent amount of use and works nicely for me and my friends/family.

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    #24 10 months ago

    The bar top I did with oak plywood and the pour on 2 part clear coat that is very durable .

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    #25 10 months ago

    Tiki bar. Because rum is awesome

    #26 10 months ago

    Some great ideas guys. I appreciate you all posting some pics. Robotron-I may need to come check out how you did all this. She would be thrilled with something like this. It does have to have a sink and I would love to have a kegerator built in. Will also need a small fridge to add as well. I roughly have a 6' deep by 10' length area to work with. So I have been thinking over the weekend and looks like most of the pins will be staying. I will be losing probably 4-6 arcade machines.

    #27 10 months ago

    Mine isn't done yet, but here are a few pictures. It's going to be 2 tier with cabinets being the lower tier. I opted for reclaimed lumber on the face. The poles are going to get built into small columns and then covered in stone.

    It was actually cheap to build the structure. The cabinets and the granite are what's going to kill the budget.

    If I ever get off my ass and finish the flooring I can work on the bar.

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    #28 10 months ago

    I think I'd sink some 22" tv/monitors under a glass top and run some MAME action to keep your arcade game memories. But that's me and I'm not building it.

    Sounds like a fun project and getting ideas first is a smart move.

    #29 9 months ago

    Looking good Spiderturbo. I look forward to seeing the completed bar!!'

    RonSS-not a bad idea. I wonder what the wife is going to give me for a budget. I know she wants a sink and I want mini fridges and possible kegerator. I also like the idea of using pin playfields for the top but that could get expensive.

    #30 9 months ago
    Quoted from Bax1:

    I also like the idea of using pin playfields for the top but that could get expensive.

    Plus, you would face the wrath of pinball purists that feel a playfield should be saved for another machine, no matter what!!!

    I personally like the idea of coffee tables and bars, so hey, to each their own.

    How about some nice LED lighting behind the "curl" where you rest your forearm?

    Man I love spending other people's money!

    #31 9 months ago

    I have my own massive plans for a barcade in my basement, but long story short for this post, today I picked up some bowling alley lane sections that I will eventually transform into my future bar counter top. Not sure if I just want to resurface these and just go with that, or use these as a base and shadow box the top with plexiglass and have some cool things light up with LEDs under the plexiglass. A future subproject for me to think about.

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    #32 9 months ago
    Quoted from KingBW:

    I have my own massive plans for a barcade in my basement, but long story short for this post, today I picked up some bowling alley lane sections that I will eventually transform into my future bar counter top. Not sure if I just want to resurface these and just go with that, or use these as a base and shadow box the top with plexiglass and have some cool things light up with LEDs under the plexiglass. A future subproject for me to think about.

    That's a big thing up here and I have seen a kitchen counter top in person... it's nice when done right. Get the part of the lane with the arrows at the beginning or the dots at the end. Watch out while cutting, the amount of nails in a lane is ridiculous.

    #33 9 months ago
    Quoted from eh97ac:

    That's a big thing up here and I have seen a kitchen counter top in person... it's nice when done right. Get the part of the lane with the arrows at the beginning or the dots at the end. Watch out while cutting, the amount of nails in a lane is ridiculous.

    Ya, they gave me the run down. Removing the metal angle iron on the bottom could cause it to fall apart as the nails don't hold it all together all that well. They showed me that with a smaller piece that they cut off. Could be an interesting project … but I have to finish some other remodeling before I can get to it.

    #34 9 months ago

    Some very cool ideas guys. I did find this idea that would cut down on two arcade games and should still make the wife happy. if you google diy bar ideas, hgtv has some cool stuff. There is also one that has like a white plastic face with metal boarder. you then put led's in and can change up the colors. pretty cool idea. I do like this idea of having a game built into the bar though.

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    #35 9 months ago

    Do you have a pole?
    (Lava lamp just getting warmed up)

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    #36 9 months ago

    Ebay has a bunch of LED Liquor Bars, tables, chairs, etc.

    ebay.com link

    Some can be found on Aliexpress afterwards for less.

    Another table top is liquid like a space fidget, or lava lamp in a table...pretty cool too.

    For a classic look, I just found as Im re doing here, Italian Porcelain Tile in super large sizes, that can be cut and drilled.
    Its amazing, and looks like Marble, Granite, leather onyx, etc. Sits on a wood frame....Only $200-$400 for a thin slab.

    Equally, there are translucent slabs at the high end, with natural veining and color that can be lit from below....

    Just my 2 cent ideas.....

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    2 weeks later
    #37 9 months ago

    I just repurposed a useless closet put in by the previous owner to hide a floor drain. I didnt need more storage so i installed an elevated mini fridge and tiled in a marble bartop. I still need to stock the lazy susan with booze...
    Only 20” wide but will hold all the “essential” liquor..

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    #38 9 months ago
    Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

    Ebay has a bunch of LED Liquor Bars, tables, chairs, etc.
    ebay.com link
    Some can be found on Aliexpress afterwards for less.
    Another table top is liquid like a space fidget, or lava lamp in a table...pretty cool too.
    For a classic look, I just found as Im re doing here, Italian Porcelain Tile in super large sizes, that can be cut and drilled.
    Its amazing, and looks like Marble, Granite, leather onyx, etc. Sits on a wood frame....Only $200-$400 for a thin slab.
    Equally, there are translucent slabs at the high end, with natural veining and color that can be lit from below....
    Just my 2 cent ideas.....

    Link doesn't work. Would like to see what these are.

    1 month later
    #39 7 months ago

    Mad scientist themed bar. Can't tell in the pics but lots of blinking lights etc. "Creature Containment Center" on the right has a "Perimeter Scan" panel with chasing leds, another panel with "Cages 1-5" that switch off and on. The audio rack actually houses my stereo and a bunch of other crap i grabbed from work. It's fun when people come over for the first time, walk over there and start throwing switches and turning knobs.....

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    #40 7 months ago

    Check out Recycled Glass Countertops!!

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    #41 7 months ago
    Quoted from pinzrfun:

    Mad scientist themed bar . . . blinking lights etc.

    Love it

    2 weeks later
    #42 7 months ago

    Here is my hockey bar. Faced with my old sticks, and set pucks into the top. Not set up at the moment as we are renovating a new house, but hope to have it make it's return shortly!

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    #43 7 months ago

    I’ve built quite a few over the years. My favourite was a modern design. Raised panels with led lighting in behind, looked great. Should have taken pics, maybe I did, but that was several computers ago

    #44 7 months ago

    see if you can find some pics spinape. loving the ideas. I think I am going to integrate 1 maybe 2 arcade games into the top.

    #45 7 months ago
    Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

    Check out Recycled Glass Countertops!![quoted image][quoted image]

    Like that blue one. that would be cool to have. who sells countertops like that?

    #46 7 months ago

    Can’t find pics. It’s a similar lidea to this.

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    #47 7 months ago

    that is nice!! I like it!!

    #48 7 months ago

    Unless you enjoy bartending, my suggestion is to go with just the back bar. People can get their own drinks. Then have whatever seating you choose facing your entertainment center. I'd rather look at that then an back bar anyway. We just put in a bar height row behind our theater chairs. My "bar" is basically just a second row of seating.

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