Ideas for an Outdoor Serving Bar for a Pass Through Window

While a serving bar is a common addition to interior kitchen pass-throughs, homeowners who regularly entertain outdoors might find an outdoor serving bar is just as valuable.

Sliding Windows

Pairing an outdoor serving bar and pass-through window with your patio makes for convenient summertime entertaining.Pairing an outdoor serving bar and pass-through window with your patio makes for convenient summertime entertaining.
An outdoor serving bar is an ideal arrangement if your patio or deck connects to your kitchen, because it allows you to easily pass food and beverages from inside your home to guests outside. To get the most out of your outdoor serving bar, consider some accessories and design features that make your bar more functional and attractive at the same time.

Unlike an interior pass-through that can be left entirely open, a pass-through that leads to an outdoor bar on your patio or deck must have a window, so there isn’t open access to the house. However, a traditional double-hung window is not an effective option, because the frame might prevent you from passing platters, trays, pitchers and other large food and beverage items through the window. A sliding window is an ideal alternative, because the windowpane simply slides out of the way, providing an entirely clear opening to pass food and other items to family and friends on the other side. If you plan to use a window treatment on the window, choose blinds that are easy to pull out of the way when you want use the pass-through.

Stools

While an outdoor serving bar is ideal for parties and barbecues, you can also use it on a daily basis. In warm weather, it is an ideal spot for your family to eat casual meals like breakfast or lunch. Adding stools to the outdoor bar provides comfortable seating at just the right height. You can find outdoor stools in a variety of materials, colors and patterns, so they add a decorative element to your patio or deck as well. Wood or metal stools are attractive options, but wicker or bamboo stools can add a fun, tropical feel to your patio. Add colorful cushions to your stools to help brighten the space and make it feel more festive for parties.

Coverings

If you plan to use your outdoor serving bar regularly and your patio or deck is uncovered, it may be a good idea to add an awning above it. The awning can protect diners from the sun during the hot summer months and keep the counter surface dry during rain and other inclement weather. Vinyl and canvas awnings are budget-friendly options and come in a variety of colors and patterns to help add visual interest to your patio. Some models are even retractable, so you can pull in the awning when you want sun for the bar. You can also opt for an aluminum awning, which is a fixed structure and typically more expensive than canvas or vinyl options.

Lights

An outdoor serving bar is an ideal addition to your patio or deck if you frequently entertain outdoors. For nighttime parties and barbecues, it is a good idea to add some type of lighting around your bar. Not only does it allow guests to see food or beverages that you might have set up on the bar, but lighting can add a festive element to the patio as well. For a simple, budget-friendly option, outline the pass-through’s window with mini-lights in a fun color like blue, red or green. If you prefer a more elegant look, mount lantern-style fixtures on either side of the window to provide soft illumination around the bar.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.