Your party is in full swing, and your guests are scattered in every room of the house. People are in the living room, in the bedroom, on the porch, and who knows, if the party is really good, guests are dancing in street. The challenge with a huge, awesome party is to keep every glass filled with the right alcoholic beverage, without requiring guests to give up their party real estate and return to a single serving area. Your secret weapon: bar carts!
The designated portable bar cart first came into fashion in the 1940s. After Prohibition ended, party goers were eager to fill their homes with bottles of store-bought booze. Rolling bar carts allowed hosts and hostesses to mingle and serve, while showing off all of their liquor labels. As the 20th century rolled onward, the bar serving cart was replaced by built-in wet bars, which later gave way to plastic coolers and pre-mixed drinks. Thankfully, bar carts are back, and we couldn’t be more excited. They offer classic style, convenience, and mobile cocktail fixings all in one! We’ve rounded up a list of the best bar carts we could find to help inspire you in your own search for the perfect bar cart. Some are commercially available, and others are one-of-a-kind works of art. So shake up a martini, and let your imagination run wild with these amazing bar cart ideas.
Vintage Suitcase Rolling Bar Cart
Nothing screams early 20th century louder than a vintage suitcase, with is why we love this rolling bar cart. A weekend project, at least, this DIY bar cart is perfect for folks who love to travel, or those nostalgic for years gone by. You can take the same ideas, and incorporate them into any old suitcase you find. It’s also a great way to take that heavy-but-beautiful luggage that great-grandma gave you, and give it a second life. Be sure to stock with plenty of dark liquors and sherry.
Faux Bamboo Vintage Bar Cart
Have I shared with you my love for faux bamboo furniture? I don’t think I have, but now you know. This beautiful vintage bar cart brings back the sophisticated style of early mid-century America. The gold “bamboo” frame reminds me of watching clips from historic Academy Awards ceremonies, and a sea of celebrities reclining in those ubiquitous chairs with the red velvet seats. This vintage bar cart would fit in well at an upscale West Coast home, or in on an Asian-inspired lanai. I’m sure you can tell this antique bar cart sends my imagination running wild.
Sleek & Chic Mirrored Bar Cart
If they ever make a live action version of The Jetsons Meet The Flintstones, they should use this mirrored bar cart. Well, maybe not the Flintstones, but it would totally work in The Jetsons Meet The Ewings. I couldn’t find the origins of this cart, but with the tell-tale signs of acrylic handles and mirrored surfaces, it could easily enter a contest for best bar carts of the 80s. It feels very new, though, and could absolutely pass for an ultra-modern piece today. I could see it paired with leather counterstools, as well as those big plastic chairs in the shape of a giant hand. I’m picturing fizzy drinks and freshly made club soda on this one.
16th-Century Italian Replica Globe Bar
Italians of the 1500s liked to hide their booze inside a globe bar, presumably giving a stronger impression of culture and being well traveled, as well as hiding their hooch from guests who would simply help themselves. Since globes were made of paper, it’s almost impossible to find the real thing today, and it would be unthinkable to actually use one to serve drinks. These replica globe bars will give you the same benefits, but without the million dollar price tag. It’s also fun to have a few drinks, then make an impromptu plan to travel the globe, shaking on the decision to finally visit the Congo, then promptly having another round and forgetting all about it.
Concord Acrylic Bar Cart
This little gem is the perfect acrylic bar cart for apartments and vacation condos. It’s big enough to hold at least the basics, but small enough to stick behind a chair when not in use. I love the round shape and the frosted shelves. At 36″ high, you could also serve a light lunch for two, and still have room underneath for an ice bucket and bottle of bubbly. I would totally find a battery operated lamp to put on the bottom shelf, and make it glow all night.
Cast Iron Antique Bar Cart
You can serve up some serious booze with this antique bar cart. Made from cast iron, you want to make sure the floor is reinforced before filling it up with liquor bottles and rolling it to the center of the room. The industrial styling is perfect for all types of decor, from country-French to steampunk. This would also fit in well as a portable kitchen island, or even a poolside bar cart, standing up to all kinds of weather. You might keep it rolled in the shade, though. Cast iron will heat up quickly in direct sunlight.
Tiered Glass Bar Cart
We found hundreds of glass bar carts out there, but found this one especially cool. The three tier design is reminiscent of a wedding cake, but the back-leaning angle of the handles seems inspired by a European shopping trolley. The round glass shelves are perfectly complimented by the large, clear acrylic wheels, giving this glass bar cart an incredibly unique look. Since the position of the tiers shifts backward as they move up, grabbing your favorite bottle of gin from the lowest shelf couldn’t be any easier.
Tailgate Friendly Portable Bar Cart
Who says you have to leave your bartending skills at home? With this portable bar cart, you can go to the beach, the cabin, or the game, and keep the cocktails flowing. This folding cart includes its own carrying case, and three different changeable covers, appropriate for a variety of occasions. My favorite is the tiki cover, because floral print says “fun” no matter where you go. There’s even a folding shelf in the back so you can keep the upper surface clear for mixing.
All-in-One Outdoor Bar Cart
This ingenious outdoor bar cart pushes the boundaries of how much function you can pack into a rolling piece of furniture. There are two gas burners for cooking, a food and drink prep surface, recessed areas to house your glasses, bottles, and even the salt shaker! Who wants a margarita? Another very cool detail is the ability to attach the end of the water hose, turning this outdoor bar cart into an actual wet bar. You’ll never need to go inside again.
Full Service Portable Home Bar
If you really want to keep up with the Joneses, check out this top-of-the-line portable home bar. It’s outfitted with a wine rack, liquor shelves, glassware holders, serving trays, and, most importantly, a lock. This is definitely way more of a statement than your average cart, but the wheels give it that same portable convenience. An extra cool feature is the inlay game board on the serving trays, giving you the tools to drink, and play backgammon.
Art Deco Brass Bar Cart
Brass finishes aren’t right for every home, but this art deco brass bar cart is probably the most versatile we’ve seen. It has a great boutique hotel feel about it, and includes several unique features. You can rest an ice bowl in the top shelf without worrying about it tipping over, and the lower level includes a rack for your stemware. A smartly included brass rail is also built in, to help keep your collection of bottles from tipping over. Pop open some bubbly and imagine you’re having a nightcap at The Plaza.
Enamel & Chrome Folding Bar Cart
If you are super cramped for space, then the perfect solution is this slick folding bar cart. When it’s party time, you’ve got a nice large cart with a rack for your bottles under the top shelf. When the party is over, it folds into a tight little package that, get this, still rolls, and can be moved behind a couch or to the back of the closet. It’s available in a few different colors, and would look superb in a retro style kitchen or home with mid-century detailing. These party plates would be a great accessory, too.
Clear Lucite Bar Cart
People seem to have a love/hate relationship with lucite, but when it comes to bar carts, there seems to be mostly love. It makes sense, though, because clear lucite blends well with any color scheme, and walks the line between utilitarian and modern aesthetics. This simple lucite bar cart has clean lines and neutral styling, so it’s a great choice for lovers of the chunky clear plastic. There aren’t a lot of frills, but I appreciate the lip around the edge of each level, helping keep objects from rolling off the side as you move from room to room.
Metal Bar Cart with Storage
Excuse me while I put every single bar tool I own into this breathtaking metal bar cart. This thing is welded together within an inch of its life, and includes generously sized baskets to hold, well, you name it. I would use one for bar tools and necessities like napkins and swizzle sticks, and the other for garnishes and mixers. There’s a nice sturdy shelf on the bottom for your bottles, and plenty of space up top for mixing and serving. Especially perfect if you live in one of those converted warehouse lofts with the big sliding door.
Innovative Wooden Bar Cart
The designer of this unusual wooden bar cart certainly knows how to think inside and outside the box. Complete with several wooden bins, concealed drawer storage, and a cool leather strap so you can pull it around the house, you’ll practically be a distraction at your own party. I love that the entire top surface is made up of bins, making it almost impossible to loose anything while you’re rolling. This wooden bar cart would make a great coffee table, too, but furniture this beautiful deserves to be home to a well curated liquor collection.
Catering Style Mobile Bar Cart
At the risk of looking like a cater waiter at a wedding reception, I’d like to put up a few points of defense for having your own black plastic mobile bar cart. First, they are designed to last for years of hard use, since they are made for a professional setting. Second, they are build for speed and efficiency, knowing that a good cater waiter needs to keep the line moving. Finally, it feels pretty cool to stand behind a professional looking mobile bar cart and serve up drinks like you are a cool college kid who just “needs some extra cash.” A huge tip jar duct taped to the top is highly recommended.
Triangular Black Bar Cart
For every super fancy, feature-packed bar cart I find, there’s a simple option that seems just as appealing. I really love the triangular shape of this black bar cart, giving 60s office realness, but with a twist. This modestly sized rolling option is perfect for apartments, or even the deck, because you can role it into a tight corner when it’s time to play Twister. The classic black finish is durable and versatile, although some colorful accessories would help enhance the party feel.
Shiny Modern Bar Cart
The beautiful thick frame on this modern bar cart make it seem substantial and significant. The metal is polished to an incredible shine, which is a trademark of modern decor. If you’ve got a Jeff Koons sitting around, it would look great on this bar cart. When you fill the top shelf with beautiful liquor bottles and decanters, you’ll want to pour a drink all the time, just so you can be near it. Serve your cocktails in platinum rim glasses, and everyone will want to put on their Sunday clothes.
Tube TV Retro Bar Cart
Hands down the most innovative makeover for useless TVs I’ve ever seen. Even if you are still a youngster, you’ve seen these now quirky old TVs, with their spiky legs and strange oval-meets-rectangle screens. The outer design is always very appealing, but it’s the guts inside that are full of mercury and a picture tube that won’t even pick up an antenna signal anymore. I’ve seen them turned into fish tanks and hamster cages, but this retro bar cart would make anyone tune in. Although it might not give you a lot of storage space, as TVs weren’t always as big as Fiat, you can squeeze in the basics, and make your guests happy every time you roll by.
Sculpted Silver Bar Cart
There’s no need to hire a bar staff for your parties when you’ve got these two guys to hold up your bar cart. A design by South African artist Carol Boyes, this silver bar cart is actually made of pewter and cast aluminum, with glass shelves and striking good looks. The back wheels on this bar trolley have brakes, so you can keep it out all the time as a prized piece of cool furniture.
Round Wine Bar Cart
In some circles, everybody just wants wine. This wine bar cart is perfect for those groups of people. There’s plenty of room on top for popping corks, pouring wine, and laying out a spread of cheese and crudités. It’s also sturdy enough to pack with enough bottles of wine to quench the thirst of a fairly large group. The riveted edge and industrial inspired wheels carry the look of an historic vineyard, as well as your best vintage.