The wet bar is making a huge comeback! Learn more about the revival of this trend on the James River Construction blog.

At James River Construction (JRC)

The little bar makes a big comeback

Many of the more “mature” readers will remember when Wet Bars were a common luxury in suburban homes – the spot where wife and mother crafted a chilled martini for dad as he walked in the door from a long day at work. Wet Bars were also used during entertaining for host and hostess to easily supply drinks to guests as games or conversations were had out in living rooms across the country. But somewhere along the way as hard liquor fell by the wayside and the popularity of beer and wine rose, having an extra fridge in the garage for a six pack or keeping a few bottles of wine on a rack in the basement became the norm. People demolished the outdated Wet Bars in their newly renovated homes in lieu of larger TV’s, entertainment units, or even storage.

But that’s all changing. With the resurgence in popularity of liquor-based craft cocktails comes the resurgence of the all-important sink and workspace the Wet Bar provides. But nowadays Wet Bars pull even more weight – often doubling as a wine storage and serving area or playing back drop to a full counter bar where guests can linger, chat, and enjoy a fresh-made beverage. We have certainly seen this in both home renovations and new construction home projects we’ve worked on lately. Our clients are making gutsy and design-driven decisions based around the home bar and Wet Bar, and we love where it’s going.

The nostalgics and the modernists among us are excited to see the Wet Bar return, so here are just a few examples of some of our favorites from our own clients.


This basement renovation included the construction of a new, quartz-topped Wet Bar that would serve kids and adults alike, as the room was intended to do. Under the counter is plenty of storage as well as a wine and beverage fridge. Loads of counter space makes preparation easy and also provides a place to put out snacks and beverages.


Never underestimate the power of an outdoor bar. This simple addition to your patio can turn your yard into the party central of the neighborhood. This built-in kitchen goes above and beyond a simple Wet Bar, but the sink, wine fridge and prep area are placed right in front of the bar’s seating area, complete with outdoor bar stools. This makes drink orders, prep and delivery easy without getting in the way of the grill master. It also invites friends and family to stay and chat while you work on the perfect burger or steak.


This built-in beauty is a great example of the multi-tasking modern Wet Bar. With space for wine storage, wine glasses, a beverage cooler and a small sink, you can serve anyone and everyone from this one space, convenient to the kitchen and dining room.


This integrated space is part Coffee Bar and part Wet Bar. With coffee, mug, wine and glass storage built in around the small sink and counter space, this bar goes from morning to evening and is convenient to the home’s built-in kitchen bar counter while still being separate enough to be out of the way of cooking and cleaning.


This is probably the most traditional take on the Wet Bar we’ve done for a client because this bar truly sits inside the family/living space as one from the midcentury would have done. The modern twist on this bar is in the design details as well as the addition of the sit-down bar. Otherwise, it’s small sink, storage and beverage prep space is just like your mom (or grandma) used to have.