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Old 05-12-2022, 11:21 AM   #1
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Default Basement Bar Ideas

So I'm in the process of gutting, and renovating the basement.

The plan from day 1 of buying the house was to turn the basement into a rec room/bar area.

I have the plumbing for a sink/wetbar which is 100% the plan.

I also intend on installing a draught tap, because is it really a bar without draught on tap?


I'm looking for some inspiration as to setup.

Any cool ideas? Anyone have a basement/home bar and have things they'd change/improve upon/do differently?

I don't have the exact dimensions at the moment but it's basically a long rectangle. Something along the lines of 21x11.

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Old 05-12-2022, 11:26 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maritime Q-Scout View Post
So I'm in the process of gutting, and renovating the basement.

The plan from day 1 of buying the house was to turn the basement into a rec room/bar area.

I have the plumbing for a sink/wetbar which is 100% the plan.

I also intend on installing a draught tap, because is it really a bar without draught on tap?


I'm looking for some inspiration as to setup.

Any cool ideas? Anyone have a basement/home bar and have things they'd change/improve upon/do differently?

I don't have the exact dimensions at the moment but it's basically a long rectangle. Something along the lines of 21x11.

CP Braintrust, do your thing... inspire me!
My suggestions would be to include a big fridge either in the form of a full size or a double wide under-counter. The bigger fridge is useful for snacks and for chilled mugs/glasses. Also consider a compact dishwasher so that you don't have to haul glassware upstairs.
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Old 05-12-2022, 11:40 AM   #3
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not directly related; however, i knew a guy who somehow got a hold of an old wooden airplane propeller. cleaned it up and refinished it and hung it above his basement bar. it looked pretty cool.

You definitely need some crazy, but manly crap for your walls.
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Old 05-12-2022, 11:40 AM   #4
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Also don't forget a space for garbage (or garburetor), which is handy if you are making cocktails. Is your bar against the wall or an island style bar?
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Old 05-12-2022, 11:52 AM   #5
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Also don't forget a space for garbage (or garburetor), which is handy if you are making cocktails. Is your bar against the wall or an island style bar?
At this stage it could be either. Complete gutting of the area.
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Old 05-12-2022, 11:54 AM   #6
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not directly related; however, i knew a guy who somehow got a hold of an old wooden airplane propeller. cleaned it up and refinished it and hung it above his basement bar. it looked pretty cool.

You definitely need some crazy, but manly crap for your walls.
I've got a few jerseys that will be the centre pieces of the space

Signed Tkchuck and Versteeg jerseys, with a crested Marc-Andre Fleury junior jersey.

Might frame my Ian Kinsler Rangers jersey, and would love to pick up a Nolan Ryan jersey as well.
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Old 05-12-2022, 12:06 PM   #7
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I would say keep the design somewhat simple. Focus around a viewing area for the games/movies and a bar/rec area. Don't compromise the viewing experience and keep an eye on things like seating, lighting, etc...

You can really add to the aesthetic experience pretty easily, with all the modern arcade "1 Up" style systems out there. I would definitely have an area that has an actual bar in it, with a TV that resembles a commercial bar. But I would ultimately focus on a great viewing experience for people who want to watch the games.
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Old 05-12-2022, 12:16 PM   #8
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I would be realistic about what you're actually going to use down there. Often a fridge and a sink with some shelving and storage is enough. Are you going to have company enough to where your kegs won't just be sitting there for months and months before they're finished? There are a lot of unused basement bars in the world.
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Old 05-12-2022, 12:48 PM   #9
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Depending on your set up, viewing. An additional TV on the wall behind the bar. Also a small apartment sized dishwasher built into the cabinets, I had this idea when we did my bar but never put one in. Also a urinal in the adjacent bathroom.
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Old 05-12-2022, 12:49 PM   #10
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My friend made a bartop and put all sorts of keepsakes, pins, coins, old concert tickets on it then a thick epoxy coat to seal it in.

It's permanent but a nice touch if you are a memento kind of person.
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Old 05-12-2022, 01:16 PM   #11
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Get one of these

https://bartesian.com/

It's levelling up my alcohol intake. So buyer beware!
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Old 05-12-2022, 01:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by nik- View Post
I would be realistic about what you're actually going to use down there. Often a fridge and a sink with some shelving and storage is enough. Are you going to have company enough to where your kegs won't just be sitting there for months and months before they're finished? There are a lot of unused basement bars in the world.
That's fair... but I do think it'll end up being used.

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Depending on your set up, viewing. An additional TV on the wall behind the bar. Also a small apartment sized dishwasher built into the cabinets, I had this idea when we did my bar but never put one in. Also a urinal in the adjacent bathroom.
I've been debating the second (smaller) TV behind the bar. I like the idea of an apartment sized dishwasher. It's not a far trek to the dishwasher upstairs.

Also I've always wanted a urinal in the house, if we take out the tub in the basement bathroom and put in a standing shower, then we'd have room for a urinal, but alas right now we don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by speede5 View Post
My friend made a bartop and put all sorts of keepsakes, pins, coins, old concert tickets on it then a thick epoxy coat to seal it in.

It's permanent but a nice touch if you are a memento kind of person.
Neat idea, but I don't think I have enough trinkets for it.

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Get one of these

https://bartesian.com/

It's levelling up my alcohol intake. So buyer beware!
If I was a cocktail drinker I totally would (didn't know that thing existed). I'm a beer guy though, hence the daught tap.
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Old 05-12-2022, 01:33 PM   #13
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I would be realistic about what you're actually going to use down there. Often a fridge and a sink with some shelving and storage is enough. Are you going to have company enough to where your kegs won't just be sitting there for months and months before they're finished? There are a lot of unused basement bars in the world.
I considered this before I built out my basement, and glad I did. Finished product (spoilered for size)

Spoiler!
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Old 05-12-2022, 03:13 PM   #14
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Keep the bar as simple as possible. I'd summarize the best approach as a feature wall for display of your collectables (ie: drinks and miscellaneous things). It basically should be a feature wall on its own, but it just so happens that it has a sink and fridge there too. If not that, it should be basically be designed as a nice pantry with a fridge and sink. Don't go overboard on things that cannot move.

The simpler is probably the better approach. Spend the bigger money on the garb, sink and fridge. Things that are convenient and functional for you or things your guests will actually be more impressed with that than the rest of the bar itself (ie: your trinkets and bartending skills).

Get a good sized sink. None of those 8-12 inch ones. They're too small, but more importantly, they're not deep enough. Get something closer to 18-22 inch and one that can fit several cups and other things inside without overflowing or water ricocheting everywhere and making a mess. I'd also highly recommend installing a high arc faucet with a pull out head. Looks nice and is functional. Pure bonus if it's one of those sinks that is designed so that you can roll out a magnetic drying rack or a cutting board. You can use it to hide stuff or extra space etc. IMO, the sink is the worst place to cut corners. I put in a smaller 15"x13" granite sink and I'm kicking myself for not doing a 18-20" one that has a cover. 15 x 13 with curved sides is barely enough for 2-3 cups without falling over and a typical wine glass is almost sticking out of the top. Therefore I have to wash basically everything that is done with and the sink is basically only barely more useful for dumping things out.

ie: something like this is what I'd do (perhaps smaller if possible) if I could get a mulligan:

https://www.amazon.ca/Kraus-KWU111-21-Workstation-Sink-Statin/dp/B09B1CC1PM/ref=sr_1_4?crid=4ZCIBQ50O81P&keywords=20"+kraus+si nk+with+workstation&qid=1652388671&sprefix=20+%2Ca ps%2C87&sr=8-4

Garburator would be pretty neat and would probably only cost a few hundred extra as long as your counter is high enough. I think it's worth it for fruits and stuff in certain drinks.

If you need a table/sitting area, don't build one into the basement. Buy a portable bar counter you can move around, reposition and remove if needed. It'll also make it easier to tinker around with different themes. Like poker night by the bar, or drinks at the bar or drinks while watching the game on a big screen etc. Similarly, if you're going to have a keezer or a kegerator, there's really no need to encase those into a built in. Encase it in something that moves with it.

Rather than a small TV, maybe do a projector instead? Or even a tablet? Less holes/cables, more functional and far easily upgradable/swap the space around as needed. Also less likely to accidentally whack it and break it or get liquids on it and mess it up.

Power outlets... get a ton of those for fridges, blenders, phone charging, flashy lights etc. Probably you want around 4-6 outlets in the area and you could potentially expand it via extension cords. You might even want to install one on the ceiling for something like a short throw projector to mirror your big screen, project ambience and other things etc.

Agreed on fridge, find a way to put in a full sized one if possible. Once you have it, you suddenly realize it's great as overflow for the kitchen one and other things. You'll use it for drinks, frozen stuff (ice, fruits, shaved ice) etc.

Dishwasher seems overkill to me. I guess you can always but a $300-400 apartment one that drains into the sink... but... it's cocktails. Other than perhaps lipstick on a glass, there's rarely truly gross to clean out with a basic swirl of a sponge and water.

Sound. If you watching a movie/game and you're making noise, it's hard to hear. It might not be a bad idea to plan ahead so you can get some higher volume sound in the bar area so you're not behind.

Lights. Bright. Basically a spot light to showcase what you have there.

Cupboards vs cabinet. Because you're basically saying your bar would be high use rather than occasional use, if you can do cabinet, do that over cupboards. Sliding out a shelf with items is better than leaning down and reaching to the back of some corner. It's also easier to open, grab and close.

I have a set up that's around $1,500 that included repainted cupboards, granite sink with Moen arc faucet, 12 ish feet of stone counter tops in a "C shape" and a full sized fridge. For how I use it, I only really regret the smaller sink.

I don't have a sitting area because we usually only use the basement bar to grab a drink and run upstairs, or basically do a tasting of multiple things I have at the bar. So that's extra. But in the long run, the sitting area would likely just be a bunch of reclining couches and good sized/height side tables.

I used to have a place that had a giant island on an open concept main floor. You could sit at it with bar stools. Honestly speaking though, that type of design just wasn't as well used as the dining table and sofa. People would leave drinks there, but no one really sat there. That's why I suggest not doing it in a basement bar.
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Old 05-13-2022, 12:04 AM   #15
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i've got lots of ideas for my "next" house - ha! ha!


you can do some really cool stuff with lighting. stuff like this can be neat:


2460_e78dcc23a66cc50cef1490ae228dfb47_m by bc-chris, on Flickr


4873880-Back-lit-bottles-in-a-cocktail-bar-Stock-Photo-interior by bc-chris, on Flickr


do you have easy access to outside? i saw this and if you like entertaining and want to be part of outside conversation....
garage door window by bc-chris, on Flickr


something that i will absolutely be doing is something like this with a flames logo....
119ce89637234e00a31e58d330dab792--nittany-lion-beige-color by bc-chris, on Flickr


the best thing to do is just google basement bar/man cave ideas. i have tons and tons of pics saved of stuff i think is neat. once you have a good 'library' of pics you can start to narrow down what you want to do. i think the biggest piece of advice would be to don't "rush" your decision. it took me about a year and a half to figure out what i wanted to do for my fireplace in my games room - and i'm glad i took my time becuz i love it.


oh - another great way to get ideas is to go thru show homes. when my wife and i knew we were going to be building a house we did trips from kelowna to both vancouver and calgary to go thru show homes just to get ideas. we pulled lots of design elements from show homes into our house.
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Old 05-13-2022, 12:51 AM   #16
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If you are rich and have a massive house build your bar.

By that I mean you employ a bartender in your home.

Otherwise it is a waste.

Build a man cave instead. Running water, a sink, a bathroom and a fridge. Add in all the cool stuff you like.

As for a tap for draught beer? I love beer, but you better be partying hard all the time to use it well.

Do you have kids?

My parents spent a small fortune building a bar in our home. Before kids.

We came along and it was a waste of space.

My mom then ran a daycare in our home years later. People questioned the bar downstairs.

Kids ruin everything lol. Bar turned into a playpen for kids.

It was a hilarious waste of money.

Do the man cave thing. You will thank me.

Just an opinion though, you do you.

A bar needs a bartender. If you like serving friends and having a second unpaid job great for you. I would love to be your first customer.
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Old 05-13-2022, 02:22 AM   #17
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I just think that hauling a keg downstairs sounds like an absolutely awful experience. It essentially is an awkward 50kg + mass that you will have to navigate around. Plus you better enjoy the same beer for a really long period of time.
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Old 05-13-2022, 06:31 AM   #18
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Throw in a golf sim!
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Old 05-13-2022, 08:01 AM   #19
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Don't let them drag down your idea of beer on tap. Get a corny keg system (19L). No worries about heavy kegs. And concerns about not emptying the keg fast enough? Seems like a solvable problem.
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Old 05-13-2022, 08:45 AM   #20
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Another friend of mine was big into making his own beer and wine. He acquired some coke kegs, the ones that are used for pop fountains. He would Keg his own brews and serve them in his basement bar. But you got to drink a lot of beer too make a tap worth it imo.
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