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Old 05-13-2022, 12:32 PM   #41
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Now you are just jumping straight to sex swings.
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Old 05-13-2022, 12:33 PM   #42
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Now you are just jumping straight to sex swings.
Multipurpose ceiling hooks!!!
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Old 05-13-2022, 05:46 PM   #43
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I'm at the age where I'd rather have a backyard pub I could escape to. This one's just missing a TV for watching the game.





That is AWESOME

But we have 2-3 months of summer at best. Basement is more useful.
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Old 05-13-2022, 06:19 PM   #44
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The only “successful” home bars I have personally witnessed are above grade, or in a walk out basement. Subterranean basements just don’t seem to work imo.
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Old 05-13-2022, 07:28 PM   #45
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The only “successful” home bars I have personally witnessed are above grade, or in a walk out basement. Subterranean basements just don’t seem to work imo.
I like this post.

I'm going to ask why.

Not saying you're wrong, but in hopes we stumble upon something that I can compensate for.
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Old 05-13-2022, 07:51 PM   #46
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I have an opinion on this and it kind of goes back to the party garage. The outdoor party shed thing, too.

Once you invite people into your house after a certain age, things sort of get lame. You take your shoes off, ask your buddy's wife how work is going, and then you're just, like, stuck in your buddy's basement who went to a ton of work and expense to create a spot for you and this moment so expectations are high for it to be fun and it ends up feeling forced. Plus, it's straight up weird hanging out in a pretend bar in a basement with, like, one or two other guys. It lacks the energy and vibe of an actual bar and can never get there, so ends up being a bit hollow.

Conversely, a garage or hang-out shed is different. They're not trying to replicate a bar inside a home. They're their own thing. First of all, your friends just leave their shoes on and that makes the vibe more public and less like you're in somebody else's personal space/on somebody else's turf. Right away that allows people to let loose a little more like we all tend to do in a bar versus sitting on a couch in a friend's living room. You're also external to normal house things that give off a domestic vibe.

I find basement bars are like setting up a tent in your backyard. Should it be kind of like camping and sort of fun? Yeah, it should. But it never is.
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Old 05-13-2022, 08:02 PM   #47
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Great post but a weird take on shoes.

I think it’s about light. When their are strangers around in a bar darkness makes everyone more attractive. When you hang out in a dark basement with your friends it’s wierd unless you are just watching a movie. This is true whether shoes are on or off.
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Old 05-13-2022, 08:24 PM   #48
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I agree with the shoes thing.

It doesn't make sense, but at the same time it does. We're human and we're weird creatures. Little things that are different will throw things off.

I was thinking about the light thing. Debating a few led pot lights. Maybe a mirror(s) across from windows to increase natural light?

This is actually the weird stuff I'm looking for.

I *wish* I had a walkout basement. That'd be 100% ideal, but it's not the case. We don't have the weather to warrant a garage/man shed type thing. It was like 14° today, and I'm not likely going outside to the garage tk watch the Flames when it's the middle of winter.
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Old 05-13-2022, 09:43 PM   #49
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Yeah, if you can pinpoint what doesn't work, you may be able to figure out what does. Ultimately, you need to get it to a place that'll fit with your social circle. This has to be somewhere people want to go.

Once it's done, I think a good way to host its inaugural event would be to make it the starting point before going somewhere else. Like, invite people over for a couple warm-up drinks before heading out to a pub or bar. If it's the final destination and everyone knows you went to a bunch of trouble to make it, then I'm just worried the night will fall flat. If it's a couple beers and then onto the next thing, you'll probably start getting some traction for it to become one of your squad's 'spots'.
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Old 05-13-2022, 09:54 PM   #50
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I'm not 20 anymore.

I'd like draught to be able to have the right amount of beer watching the hockey game, or whatever.

Especially with COVID getting together is difficult. Having a few of the guys over for a few beers would be just as advantageous in a basement bar as actually going to one. Cheaper too.

Pre-COVID we threw a big Christmas party every year. Having the basement bar would allow us to continue that but even better.

I think it'll suit my needs. It's the minor details I'm trying to figure out.
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Old 05-13-2022, 10:04 PM   #51
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I'm not 20 anymore.

I'd like draught to be able to have the right amount of beer watching the hockey game, or whatever.

Especially with COVID getting together is difficult. Having a few of the guys over for a few beers would be just as advantageous in a basement bar as actually going to one. Cheaper too.

Pre-COVID we threw a big Christmas party every year. Having the basement bar would allow us to continue that but even better.

I think it'll suit my needs. It's the minor details I'm trying to figure out.
That sounds great. I can see how this'll be awesome.
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Old 05-13-2022, 10:26 PM   #52
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As weird as it sounds, I love hearing all the drawbacks and why people wouldn't do it.

Ironically, that's the info I want.

Everyone's different, as is their needs and wants. The "I don't like wearing shoes" and "not enough natural light" is EXACTLY what I want to hear.

I can correct those things now.

Really it'll be a rec room with a TV, and a bar int he corner.

I'm not gonna mimic the Bull and Finch in my basement. I want something that is my own.

Any ideas, the good, the bad, are what I want at this stage.
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Old 05-14-2022, 07:53 AM   #53
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Yeah I love the IDEA of a basement bar, but every basement bar I’ve see quickly turns into a laundry drying area or storage. Better off putting that money toward a bigger tv, sound and theatre seating.

Silvers garage hangout idea is awesome and in fact my garage is already slowly turning into that. I have some cool and chill neighbors and we’ll crack one right on the driveways on weeknights.
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Old 05-15-2022, 10:25 AM   #54
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I don't find bars in general a fun lounging place to be. They seem like necessities we tolerate rather than enjoy. So at home, I consider the wet bar more a refilling station by the main attraction (a true lounge of some sort). It'll cool to have nearby and in the back ground, but rarely as a main fixture.That's why simple is better. Grab a drink and go legit chillax or watch media.

No one would enjoy bar stools and counters if there's a sofa or padded dining chairs nearby. This in the same vein the servers apologize that there's no tables and it's bar seating only.


A bar themed clubhouse is different than a full blown bar somewhere where there's better options for chilling out and entertainment.
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Old 05-15-2022, 12:19 PM   #55
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I disagree with the general theme in this thread that basement bars are a bad idea. Whenever we have people over, there are only 2 places that they end up: the kitchen (which I hate), or the bar, which is infinitely preferable.

Nothing kills a get together like everyone sitting down - there is far more energy when everyone is standing and mingling. That's why most parties end up in the kitchen, simply because there is no better place in the house for people to stand and mingle. Well, the bar is a better place.

My advice is to ensure that, whatever you do, there is space for gatherings to naturally happen around the bar. We have a pool table in front of ours, which is great because it gives people something to do, but more importantly, there is a lot of space to stand and mingle.

Room for that, plus room for people to sit and watch a game (or a movie or whatever).

If you have both those things, your basement will be used.
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Old 05-16-2022, 10:00 AM   #56
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I disagree with the general theme in this thread that basement bars are a bad idea. Whenever we have people over, there are only 2 places that they end up: the kitchen (which I hate), or the bar, which is infinitely preferable.

Nothing kills a get together like everyone sitting down - there is far more energy when everyone is standing and mingling. That's why most parties end up in the kitchen, simply because there is no better place in the house for people to stand and mingle. Well, the bar is a better place.

My advice is to ensure that, whatever you do, there is space for gatherings to naturally happen around the bar. We have a pool table in front of ours, which is great because it gives people something to do, but more importantly, there is a lot of space to stand and mingle.

Room for that, plus room for people to sit and watch a game (or a movie or whatever).

If you have both those things, your basement will be used.
I’m gonna agree with Silver on this one. The reason kitchens are nice to gather in is they’ve got less formality & more utility to them, much like a garage or deck.

We occasionally get invited to gatherings at a friends place that’s a legit mansion, the kitchen is relatively small compared to the rest of the house, but it does have a good sized island that can seat 8-10 folks comfortable.

Every time we’ve gone it’s generally everyone seated around this island, having great conversation and food in what feels like a warm and humble space. Being surrounded by 70s/80s cook books & eating pizza on paper towels is so much enjoyable than any of the super formal gatherings they could no doubt host in their space, I’d take it over a basement bar any day.
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Old 05-16-2022, 07:22 PM   #57
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I want to expand the question a bit.

If you had a bar in your garage or shed, how would you set it up? What would you do?
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Old 05-17-2022, 02:41 AM   #58
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I disagree with the general theme in this thread that basement bars are a bad idea. Whenever we have people over, there are only 2 places that they end up: the kitchen (which I hate), or the bar, which is infinitely preferable.

Nothing kills a get together like everyone sitting down - there is far more energy when everyone is standing and mingling. That's why most parties end up in the kitchen, simply because there is no better place in the house for people to stand and mingle. Well, the bar is a better place.

My advice is to ensure that, whatever you do, there is space for gatherings to naturally happen around the bar. We have a pool table in front of ours, which is great because it gives people something to do, but more importantly, there is a lot of space to stand and mingle.

Room for that, plus room for people to sit and watch a game (or a movie or whatever).

If you have both those things, your basement will be used.
I think you're arguing the point that we're making. In your description, the bar seems to be a refilling station in front of a main attraction (ie: pool table or movie). What many of us are suggesting and warning against is attempting to pour too many resources into attempting to making a wet bar a main feature. It is far better to make it a secondary feature to something bigger.

No one is saying no one will go into the basement. What most of us are warning about is that no one will get excited about the bar in the basement. They'll be excited about something else there and the bar will be the cherry on top. A maraschino cherry on top of a sundae is awesome. A maraschino cherry on its own is kinda bleh.

My personal basement bar is just a display area/refilling station. Usually we go there to "get the good stuff" to bring back to the kitchen area where everyone is hanging out. Even if I were to put some entertainment in the area, it would never be the main attraction of the area.

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I want to expand the question a bit.

If you had a bar in your garage or shed, how would you set it up? What would you do?
It's still just a convenient refilling station. Personally, I'd make it completely unassuming. Being able to bring out refreshments out of seemingly nowhere seems like a really cool bar trick type of thing to do. You could do some LED string lights that you can suddenly turn on I guess.

The shed or garage seems like a good place to have some side activities right in front or around the corner on the lawn like BBQ, darts, corn hole, bocce ball etc. Things that you can easily tuck away and them pull out in full. Folding tables, lawn chairs etc. are also likely a must.
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Old 05-17-2022, 08:52 AM   #59
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I think you're arguing the point that we're making. In your description, the bar seems to be a refilling station in front of a main attraction (ie: pool table or movie). What many of us are suggesting and warning against is attempting to pour too many resources into attempting to making a wet bar a main feature. It is far better to make it a secondary feature to something bigger.

No one is saying no one will go into the basement. What most of us are warning about is that no one will get excited about the bar in the basement. They'll be excited about something else there and the bar will be the cherry on top. A maraschino cherry on top of a sundae is awesome. A maraschino cherry on its own is kinda bleh.

My personal basement bar is just a display area/refilling station. Usually we go there to "get the good stuff" to bring back to the kitchen area where everyone is hanging out. Even if I were to put some entertainment in the area, it would never be the main attraction of the area.



It's still just a convenient refilling station. Personally, I'd make it completely unassuming. Being able to bring out refreshments out of seemingly nowhere seems like a really cool bar trick type of thing to do. You could do some LED string lights that you can suddenly turn on I guess.

The shed or garage seems like a good place to have some side activities right in front or around the corner on the lawn like BBQ, darts, corn hole, bocce ball etc. Things that you can easily tuck away and them pull out in full. Folding tables, lawn chairs etc. are also likely a must.
No, that is the opposite of what I am saying. For us, the bar is always the gathering point (assuming I can get people out of the kitchen).

I am not saying you need to pump a lot of dollars into it, I am saying it works great as the gathering area for guests - especially because it is an area where people tend to stand vs sit
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Old 05-17-2022, 09:25 AM   #60
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A big thing for us was how much space we wanted to dedicate to something that was only going to be used a few times a year. If you're also sitting around the bar yourself, go for it. But if it's just for entertaining and that happens half a dozen times a year, is dedicating a large portion of your house to that worth the cost and loss of space? If you have a big house, I guess it doesn't really matter because you have room to spare.
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