How to Build A Bar (Or, at least how we did it)

As you may or may not have noticed, we decided to add a little bar to the dining room at Punk’s.  It’s a natural extension of what we are already doing, as we’ve been selling you good people a lot of beers for a good amount of time now. Given that we tend to be DIY type people, we decided to build it. Now that it’s finished and still standing, it seemed reasonable to let you know how it went.

We started by sketching up the idea and then heading to Home Depot.  We built the structure with a whole bunch of 2x4s and lots of screws.  Nothing too fancy, just built a base, then framed it out like you would a wall.  This is what we started with. 

We decided to make square boxes at the three corner points for stability.  We built the base and laid it out to make sure our size was right before moving forward.

Typical bar height is 42″ although we went a little bit smaller at 39″ because we wanted it to blend into the dining room a little bit more.  The lower height gives customers better visibility to the grill. So we started framing.

Once the outside framing was done, we rough cut some 8′ x 4′ pieces of plywood and covered the front section.  This all eventually gets finished over, so we didn’t need too much finesse on the plywood cuts.

Next, we brought the structure inside and put it in place.  We then put the cherry paneling on the front.

Somewhere in this process we framed out another row of beams directly parallel to the others, approximately 6″ further in.  We did this for added support and stability.  After the structure was solid, we cut the plywood for the top. We bought higher grade cabinet plywood for the top because we need consistency and a level top for finishes.   This required a little more precision since it becomes the base for the bar top and I think we managed just fine.

We then flipped it around, so it was where we wanted it, and it looked like this.

Next, we threw some plywood on the back side to help seal off any open spaces, which would later get a coat of water resistant paint.

We needed to install some shelving and a sink, which we did without too much trouble.

The next step was the top.  We settled on stone tiles (we’ve never tiled before), so we set them up, and went to work.   We put the tile down, grouted it and left a 2″ rail on the back side for bar mats.  After the tile dried, we put silicone down between the tile and bar mats, and we stained and varnished the exposed wood to help waterproof it.

Finally, we trimmed up all the edges, moved some equipment back there, bought some bar stools and we have a finished product!

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2 thoughts on “How to Build A Bar (Or, at least how we did it)

  1. Reblogged this on Noble Experiment and commented:
    This is an old post that I did on the Punk’s blog, but a lot of people have been asking me lately about how we built the bar. This is a decent overview, with pictures, about the process. I’m happy to field more specific questions in the comments.

  2. My home is on the market and I’m going to miss everything about it but especially the bar I made. Mine is not for a commercial space but simply a home kitchen bar. I removed the shelving and bi-fold doors from a pantry; outfitted it with a two used cabinets that I painted to match the rest of the kitchen, one short and one tall. I finished the short one with a granite top and put in a tile backspash and some shelves I made above it for glassware. I’m guessing I can do it again, but you know the work it takes and the pride in ownership that comes from the effort so just wish I could take my ‘baby’ with me! Loved seeing the step by step and think it’s just beautiful!

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