Some people may call it a sin, what we did. But it was something we just had to do…
Our house was graced with an oversized party-room (garage) – 13 foot commercial bar included. A dream for any bachelor, or really just anyone looking to have a good time. Your typical garage door was removed and replaced by a set of french doors – admittedly, making for a pretty cool rec room. But not very practical in the middle of the snow belt that just got hit with 7 feet of snow this past winter. And for us, practicality wins. Because there’s no way I want to dig my car out every time Mother Nature decides to grace us with lake effect snow.
Now you may know where this is going, but I promise, its not as bad as you think. We didn’t get rid of the bar. Not completely…
Operation: Tear Down
For the first month in the house, we used the bar as a storage area for all of our tools and stuff. The house was too dusty to keep anything in, and there were plenty of shelves with the bar, so it worked out nicely. But then Dan wanted a side project – something to get him away from all the house work when he needed a break. Something “fun.” So it was time to work on the bar. My dad took an immediate interest in helping out. First thing’s first, and that was figuring out exactly how this monster was bolted to the ground. Dad was the investigator, and luckily, it turned out that it wasn’t drilled into the concrete like we thought.
Next step was to remove all the shelving, and since sledge hammers and “breaking stuff” was involved, my dad and brother Jeff were all too happy to help out.
And now, the unthinkable… Dan took a saw and cut the bar (dun dun dunnnn). But seriously guys, he only cut 5 feet off. Which yes, seems like a lot, until you realize that we still have an 8 FOOT BAR left. Fair compromise for all you boozers out there, don’t you think?
Time for the big move. My dad and Mighty Mouse used all their muscles to haul the bar across the garage. Impressive.
Giving the bar a facelift
And now that the bar found its new home, it was time to put it all back together. Dan first worked on the framing to stabilize the bar and decided to give it a facelift by adding wood veneer over the front.
The trim pieces from the original bar were still in good shape, but needed cleaning up. After scraping the old glue off and refinishing the stain and poly, Dan worked to resize them to fit on the new bar. After a bit of puzzle-piecing, the trim pieces were back in action.
Once the new face was in place, Dan decided to match the color to the existing trim work. Red Mahogany it was. Usually not our go-to stain color, but it came out pretty great.
The top of the original bar was actually a cool shale tile, but in the process of all this commotion, some of the tile was damaged. Luckily, the former owners left an extra box of tile under the bar, allowing us to fix that right up. Dan’s friend Jamie stopped over, and of course, he was put right to work. Dan had him help grind down the old glue left behind by the broken tile.
Once that was cleaned up, Dan was able to relay and regrout the tile. Another puzzle to put back together.
Because this is still going to be a major feature of the summer, Dan wanted to do something fun with the wall behind the bar. At first, he was thinking a really dark navy color, but ultimately decided on chalkboard paint. We thought this was a fun idea, and would allow everyone who stopped by the bar to leave us a message. I’ll give it one night before the messages take a turn for the worse.
The chalkboard paint also made the mirror pop right off the wall (figuratively, of course). The mirror we used is the same one we tore off the wall of our living room. Glad we were able to repurpose something, and it was the perfect fit.
Ready for a good time
So in the end, yes, we cut a bar in half. But you have to admit, Dan and Company did a pretty great job of putting it back together. This was his side project that helped him escape from the mess we were making in the house. And once we’re able to stop using our garage as “home base” and our storage area, the entire space will make for a pretty cool man cave.
Now all we need are a few beers and some chalk to let the shenanigans begin.