- Bar carts and simple bar cabinets range from about $150 to $350. Some of them are portable and easily broken down for transport to the next tail-gate party.
- Full bars with a footrest, room for a couple stools, and shelving for wine bottles and other supplies start around $300 and quickly escalate to $800, $1,500 or even $2,000 depending on materials and build quality. You can even drown your Minnesota winter blues at a bamboo tiki bar that comes with a roof and two torches. You supply the Hawaiian shirts.
Want something grander? One of the big-box hardware stores offers a mini English pub featuring a paneled pine bar with pillars and a canopy that connects to a mirrored back counter. It can store enough bottles to serve a small, thirsty wedding party. If you’re ready to drop $6,300 for this spot of British pub life in your basement, be sure to invite over your burliest friends to help assemble the 800-pound behemoth. Then again, it’s probably cheaper to fly from Minneapolis to London and toast the Queen in one of the city’s 3,500+ pubs.
Wet bars keep the cash flowing (out of your pocket)
Minimally, wet bars are equipped with a sink, running water, and lines that bring water in and out. Depending on where the bar is in your house, plumbing costs could be as little as $600, but quickly escalate. Basement setups add expense—as much as $1,000 to $5,000—because drainage can be more complex. Incorporating features like a refrigerator with an ice maker, and a dishwasher can also be expensive. And don’t forget you might have to factor electrical work for outlets and lighting into your budget. Plus, there’s the cost of the sink, appliances, and the bar itself. It’s easy to see how a homeowner can fork out $10,000 to $20,000 and more for a fully operational wet bar.
Dream, drink, repeat
Whether you set up a cheap beer cart and a couple stools by the basement TV, or tap your pot of gold to build an authentic in-house Irish pub, there’s no doubt a home bar is a welcoming spot to entertain, relax, and share good times with friends and family. With a little vision and planning, you can create a barrelhouse, bottle joint, or cozy dive that’s always close, always open, and always has room for one more.