Do you have a man cave (like me) or you are planning to construct a man cave for watching sports, playing games, entertaining friends and just relaxing from the day to day problems of life? If so, one of the features you simply must consider for this new room is a bar. With a bar, entertaining is made so much easier and much more enjoyable.
However, if you are considering building a bar in your man cave you will first need to decide whether that bar will be a wet bar or a dry bar. To help make that decision easier, in the following article we will explain the major differences (and similarities) between a wet bar and a dry bar. We will also cover some of the advantages and benefits you will reap when you include either type of bar in your man cave layout.
Difference between a Wet Bar and a Dry Bar
As we mentioned in the introduction, either a wet bar or a dry bar can be a wonderful addition to any home or man cave. However, before you start buying alcohol and inviting your friends over you will have to choose the type of bar you wish to construct.
The major difference between a wet bar and a dry bar is that the former always has a sink and a drain, and oftentimes running water (thus the term wet). Therefore, the wet bar is a much more permanent structure than the dry bar. Here is a brief, yet detailed description of each type of bar.
The Wet Bar
As we said before, a wet bar is one that always has a sink and a drain, and oftentimes running water as part of its overall setup. These sinks, which are usually about half the size of a standard kitchen sink, come in very handy when mixing drinks, allowing bartenders to do things like pour off liquid excesses, wash wine or beer glasses, etc.
As you might have guessed, the more permanent wet bar must be constructed close to a plumbing line so that the sink and drain can be added and be functional. This construction demands some real know-how of plumbing and it is not recommended for those who know little about the way plumbing works. If you plan to build a wet bar you are making a long term commitment to having a bar in your home due to the manner in which it is constructed.
A wet bar can be built in a variety of styles and shapes to accommodate your specific needs and to blend with the décor of your home or man cave. Many people choose to work with a custom cabinet maker to design and construct their new wet bar. Others may opt for the less expensive method of purchasing a pre-fabricated bar, however, with that method you are closing off many options that can be added to make your bar unique and truly “yours.”
Working with a custom designer and builder may be a bit pricier but the end product is usually well worth the extra cost. With that builder you can discuss the specific amount of storage you want, the counter space, the size and type of sink you prefer and more. It is additionally crucial to identify the various items you will need to store, such as glassware, bottles, napkins, decorations and other items, as well as “how” you will want to store them. For all of these reasons, working with a true professional when creating your wet bar is usually a great idea.
The Dry Bar
The dry bar is constructed in much the same way as a wet bar, only without a sink, drain, running water or any type of plumbing whatsoever. As such, it is merely a piece of versatile furniture that is usually much more portable than the wet bar.
Like the wet bar, the dry bar can hold bottles, glasses and other accessories while also providing bar space around which people can sit to enjoy their beer or cocktails. Many dry bars also incorporate a kegerator into this space—an appliance that is designed to house and cool a keg for delicious draft beer.
A dry bar can be designed and built by a custom builder, or, if they so choose, people can opt to purchase a pre-fabricated model and build it themselves. Many dry bars are equipped with caster wheels that can lock into place. This allows owners to move their bar from room to room, which can come in very handy when entertaining.
Advantages of Having a Wet Bar or Dry Bar in Your Man Cave Bar
Owning your own home bar, whether wet or dry, offers hundreds of key advantages and benefits. To illustrate this point, below we will point out and explain several of these benefits.
Stock and Drink What You Prefer
When you go to a traditional bar you must choose from the beer and liquor that bar sells and has on hand. This is not the case with a home bar. With a home bar you can purchase only those alcohols and mixers that you and your friends prefer, without all the fluff. You can also mix your drinks the way you prefer to drink them, whether a little heavy or light on the alcohol. Moreover, if you include a kegerator as part of your home bar system you can stock that kegerator with your favorite type of beer, allowing you to drink icy cold draft beer from the comfort of your home. Some of the best kegerator brands come with two or more taps so you can have several beers to choose form. Never again will you have to visit some other bar just to find they don’t carry your favorite beer as part of their stock.
You Choose Your Company
It never fails. You go to a bar to celebrate a special event or to watch the big game and there is always one or more drunks in the bar being rude, obnoxious and overly aggressive. Sometimes there will even be physical fights. However, with your own home bar you will never have to worry about that. That’s because you get to choose who enjoys this bar with you, without the threat of unwanted company. No more drunks, no more fights and no bouncers; just you and your friends enjoying the game while you drink the beer and spirits that you prefer.
Home Bars Are Wonderful for Entertaining
A dinner party with just a few friends or a raging cocktail party is made much more elegant, chic and helpful with a home bar. That’s because home bars are great for entertaining guests. Whether you serve as the bartender or hire someone for the night you can ensure your guests are always having fun.
A Seat Is Always Available
When you go to a crowded bar in the evening you had better get there early if you want to occupy one of the few seats that are scattered around the bar. This is something you will never have to worry about with a home bar. With your own man cave bar, not only will there always be a seat available for you and your friends, those seats can take any form you wish, from padded or wood bar stools to giant recliners and sofas.
No Bathroom Line
If you have ever been to a popular bar or cocktail lounge you already know that there is always a line for the bathroom. Often people have to wait 10 minutes or more just to relieve themselves, and once they enter there is no telling what is actually going on in those bathrooms. However, with a home bar there is never a line and your bathroom will always be stocked with the products you prefer.
The Price Is Right
Some of the more trendy bars often charge up to $8 for a glass of draft beer and as much as $15 or more for a top-shelf cocktail. These prices are, of course, outrageous, but if you want to stay and enjoy yourself you are forced to pay the piper. On the other hand, stocking your home bar is much more cost-effective, especially because you only need to buy what you prefer. And from that point forward, every delicious sip you take is completely free of cost. Moreover, you must consider the long-term savings of owning your own bar, especially if you are a regular or semi-regular drinker.
You Select the Music
Relaxing in your own home bar is a far cry from the noisy and often objectionable experience at a trendy bar or nightclub. Never again will you have to listen to hip-hop or death metal played by all the 20-somethings in the bar—which always seems to happen when you are trying to have a quiet night with your wife or sweetheart. And if you like to throw parties, you can select the music that you and your friends enjoy.
Finally, with a home bar the “last call for alcohol” is determined by you alone, and not the laws governing traditional bars. Whether you have a party that rages on into the wee hours of the morning, or if you are a night owl that enjoys late night TV, the bar is always open within the walls of your own man cave.