Using a Baker's Rack as a Beverage Bar
Using a Baker's Rack, create the beverage bar of your dreams: serve up coffee or cocktails from a stylish work surface/storage solution.
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When I moved into my first place after college, I bought a bar cart. I was influenced by TikTok and I wanted a place to store all my liquor that I had accumulated throughout my time in college. I never really enjoyed drinking hard liquor, but it would always come in handy when I was hosting. However, I do love craft beer, so I have a separate beverage fridge for holding my beer and soda. This formed a nice beverage area when placed next to the bar cart that I really liked as a cohesive unit. I’ve since moved out of the first place, and took both the fridge and cart into my new apartment and kept the beverage area alive.
I recently have begun to intentionally de-center alcohol in my life, which isn’t to say that it was super central before, but I think that after some reflection, I was surprised my how many social situations involved drinking. When going out with friends, it was a normal occasion to pregame with a few mixed drinks. Nowadays, if I go out to bars/clubs with friends, I’ll go sober or have just one beer, and I still will have fun dancing or talking to people. This isn’t a moral boundary of mine, health is one particular motivator, but really at the end of the day, it didn’t add that much joy to my life, so I felt like I didn’t need to do it anymore.
I really liked this bar cart, and it served me well. I would highly recommend it to other people, but I just outgrew it and knew that I needed to start looking for other storage/display solutions.
What my bar cart/beverage area looked like
I wanted to less prominently display the bottles because I felt like I didn’t want them to jump out at people. However, at the same time, I didn’t want the bottles to not be completely hidden, which is why I shied away from a more traditional bar/liquor cabinet. Liquor bottle and label design is so cool and I really like the visual diversity that it brings, so I still wanted to be able to see the products.
Additionally, I wanted a work surface that I could use as a coffee bar and eventually add a kettle for tea and other things as well. I already had a coffee nook of sorts in my kitchen, but I wanted to see if I could co-locate all my beverage related things together because the bar cart was already next to the beverage fridge and table top ice machine.
I already had the bar cart next to my beverage fridge against a wall in my dining room, so I knew that it had to fit in that space. I wanted it to be around 33 inches in height because my mini fridge is that height and I thought that it would be nice if they were about the same size.
In this way, I’m calling the space a “beverage bar” instead of a coffee bar or a liquor shelf because it caters to all kinds of different beverages, and it also includes the fridge along with it.
My search began with two-tier bookshelves, because I could use the top part of the bookshelf to put my coffee-related appliances and put the liquor and other supplies tucked away in the shelves. However, it was hard to find one in the dimensions I wanted that also could house the liquor bottle. I wanted about 13” between shelves as that was the height of my tallest bottle, but that was a bit on the smaller side from what I saw discussed on Reddit.
Example of the type of bookshelves I was looking at
Then I was looking into industrial shelving because that’s what I used at my old house with my roommates for a pantry, and I liked the chrome steel kind of look. However, it was extremely difficult to find a more three-tier industrial shelf that was deep enough for my liking, so I eventually gave up.
Example of the type of industrial-esque shelving I was looking at
Then I went back to where I kind of started and looked into beverage carts because I thought they would at least be a bit more agnostic than a bar cart. To their credit, they are, but I wanted to get away from carts because I didn’t actually need it to be mobile, and it was annoying when people would walk by it and I could hear it move.
My search into beverage carts lead me into mobile kitchen islands, where were very lovely and I knew that I was starting to get on the right track.
- Rolling Mobile Kitchen Island with Storage and Towel Rack
- Rolling Mobile Kitchen Island with Storage and Towel Rack
Example of the type of mobile kitchen islands I was looking at
A lot of the islands had closed storage like cabinetry or not large enough shelf space, which led into searching specifically for mobile kitchen islands with “open shelving”. I kind of found what I was looking for, but I still wanted to get away from wheels.
Example of a mobile kitchen island with more shelf space
Found at Last!
Then, after about an hour of searching, I found it. A baker’s rack. I had never heard of it before, but I knew immediately that it was what I wanted.
The Baker’s rack that I ended up purchasing on Amazon
It had everything that I wanted, a nice work surface with good length and depth, as well as shelves with enough clearance to store liquor bottles. It was also similar height to my beverage fridge, so it was going to integrate perfectly. It even had the rings to hang mugs at the top, which I absolutely love. I never knew about it before, but now I am going to keep that feature with me for as long as I live. I have some buyer’s remorse over the fact that I wish it were a bit longer, but I just have to be more mindful and efficient with the space provided.
My beverage bar all set up
One of my favorite touches in my beverage bar is the bowl of Sweet & Low. Something about the unnatural florescent pink is so nostalgic from my time in American diners, and it also is a good sugar-free sweetener. In the future, I’m thinking of weaving some fairy lights into the wire grate on the upper part of the shelf, as well as wrapping some ivy around the top part of the shelf near where the mugs are hanging. I think I always want to get Sodastream art machine because I love the retro-inspired design and I also want to be able to carbonate my own water and tea.