Bar Top Ideas to Add Character to Your Restaurant Bar

lThe bar is one of the most central design elements of any restaurant. It is a primary gathering spot and a focal point for patrons whether you are operating a fine dining establishment, a rowdy night spot, or a cozy coffee shop. With this in mind, you will want to create a bar environment that compliment your overall aesthetic. With the right bar top material, you can add tremendous character to your entire restaurant. Here are a few different bar top ideas to consider:

Live Edge Wood Bar Top Ideas

The live edge bar tops are very eye-catching and provide an instant rustic feel suitable for a lodge type atmosphere. It can be stained and finished in a variety of different ways. Woodworkers can also inlay different materials into the bar top such as stones, resin or poured metal if you want an even more unique look.

Retired Surfboards Bar Tops 

Perfect for a beachside eatery with a flair for fun, using surfboards as your bar top ideas is one way to connect your bar with a tropical theme. 

Cut Up Pick Up Truck

Search salvage yards for an old truck body that you can have chopped by a metalworker into a truly one-of-a-kind bar. You can use the truck parts as a frame to support a wooden bar top, or you could use the tailgate as a small bar itself. Incorporating a salvaged pick up into your bar top will provide a solid vintage industrial vibe that appeals to a sophisticated blue-collar crowd.

Stone Bar Tops

Stone bar tops provide your restaurant with a timeless and modern feel. The common stone materials used for bar tops (including granite, marble, quartz, onyx and engineered stone) convey a sense of luxury. Engineered stone, which is a type of composite, is favored by some for its strength and affordability, however using natural stone and make your restaurant even more upscale. However, remember to be careful: stone is easy to maintain, but isn’t friendly when it comes to dropped pint glasses.

Reclaimed Barnwood Bar Tops

There is nothing quite like the warm familiar feel of a barn wood bar top. Reclaimed lumber not only looks great, but also projects a dedication to sustainability and a desire for a better earth. Look for straight plank table tops that can be configured for whatever dimensions you require for your bar. Reclaim wood can also be stained or painted according to your preference.

Copper and Other Metals Bar Tops

A copper bar adds an air of sophistication and old-world magic to your space. Copper bars can be custom-made or you can form copper sheet over an existing bar top. Other metals like aluminum, brass, steel, bronze, and zinc can achieve different looks. However, one drawback of metal bar tops is the threat of corrosion, rust or tarnishing if not properly maintained. You may have to keep them polished, which can be a lot of extra work for your staff if your bar gets a lot of use.

Frost Rail Bar Tops

A frost rail is an amazing addition to any bar top. A frost rail creates an ice-cold metal surface that is covered in frost that stretches along the length of your bar. It will keep customer’s drinks cold, which makes frost rails a nice addition to any craft beer hall. A frost rail is essentially an appliance, so you will need to maintain it like any other piece of bar equipment. They will typically be custom made to fit your existing bar and installed by a technician.

Mosaic Bar Tops

A mosaic bar top is a great option if you’re looking for a funky or down-home feel. You can create your own mosaic and really express yourself or buy a factory-made mosaic bar top. There are many possibilities if you choose to go this route. One downside is that ceramic tiles are prone to chipping over time, but you can create your mosaic in clear resin to avoid that problem.

Bowling Alley Flooring Bar Tops

Another popular type of reclaimed wood comes from decommissioned bowling alleys across the country. Reclaimed bowling lanes can help to create an eclectic vibe, as well as a fun sports bar experience. A bowling alley lane bar top is a surefire conversation starter. Bowling alley floors might cost a bit more than traditional reclaimed wood since it is harder to come by.

Choosing The Best Bar Top

With the many options worth considering, you’ll need to narrow it down to what works best for your space and what you can afford. Each material has its own maintenance and cleaning requirements, and some are going to be easier than others.

When it comes to adding a touch of class or a spark of personality, picking an unusual bar top can pay off in terms of being a smart design choice. The perfect bar top ideas and theme can provide the perfect backdrop for nightlife photos on Instagram, which can help build buzz for your business.


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