Great ideas for outdoor rooms

Reinvent your yard with a new deck, patio, cottage, dining room, or curl-up space

How to build your own barbecue bar

Use our plans and instructions to build a stunning bar for backyard cooking and entertaining

Barbecue bar

Reminiscent of a bar at a vacation spot, this barbecue also offers enough grill and countertop space to produce a full scale meal. Design: Karen Aitken & associates

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The basic idea here is obvious at a glance: Guests sit at stools on one side of the counter while the cook acts as master of ceremonies on the other, barbecuing and serving up the food much like a chef at a Japanese grill restaurant. 

The winged shape and the ample width of the counter are carefully chosen to create intimacy without a feeling of claustrophobia. The counter has plenty of space for setting out buffet items as well as tableware.

The counter was designed to blend in with its surroundings. The same stones are used on the nearby wall, the granite countertop is an attractive neutral shade, and the grill is only partly visible from most vantage points.


The countertop is symmetrical, with two wings each at an angle to the central section. On the cooking side, each section is 6 feet long. The countertop overhangs the counter by 3 inches on the ends and on the cooking side, and it cantilevers out 12 inches on the dining side for comfortable seating. The grill is placed in the center of the cooking side.

The granite slab counter is 1½ inches thick. At the edges, a strip of granite is installed underneath to give the appearance of being 4 inches thick. You could choose instead to install a countertop made of tile, decorative concrete, or slab stone.

There is only one appliance, a high-quality grill large enough to handle several cooking tasks at once. The grill is fueled by propane, so there is no need to run a gas line. Two electrical receptacles, located on the cooking side of the counter, supply power for small appliances or a rotisserie.

A reinforced concrete slab supports the structure and forms the floor inside the unit. The walls are built of 6-inch concrete block. A structure like this could also be built with wood or steel framing and concrete backerboard.

The blocks are faced with faux stone, which comes in a wide variety of colors and shapes and is fairly easy to install. The joints between the stones are filled with mortar.

Next: Getting ready


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