How To Build A Hidden Cocktail Bar

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With its inlaid lighting, this countertop made the perfect setting for a truly luxurious touch — a hidden cocktail bar. I took a simple cabinet box, stirred in a motorized TV lift and added a splash of creative wiring to give this garage an entertaining twist.

Tools Required

  • Basic carpentry tools
  • Drill
  • Jigsaw
  • Orbital sander
  • Oscillating multi-tool
  • Pocket hole jig
  • Router
  • Table saw

Materials Required

  • 1-1/4” trim screws (8)
  • 1" pocket hole screws (box)
  • 1/2-in. oak quarter-round
  • 1/4" tempered glass (1)
  • 18 gauge wire
  • 1x10 x 4' oak boards (2)
  • 27" TV lift (1)
  • Limit switch (1)
  • Momentary switch (1)

Meet the Builder: An editor for Family Handyman, Jay Cork loves tinkering in his garage as much as he likes relaxing after.

Cocktail Bar CutlistFamily Handyman

Bar Cabinet DiagramFamily Handyman

Project step-by-step (14)

Step 1

Cocktail Bar CutlistFamily Handyman

Bar Cabinet DiagramFamily Handyman

Make the base

  • I fashioned a base for my cocktail bar by tracing the section of countertop editor Mike Berner made in his “Workbench to Bar Top” article.
  • I used the same butcher block material and cut out the shape with a jigsaw.

Make the BaseFamily Handyman

Step 2

Assemble the cabinet box

  • Using one-inch pocket hole screws, attach the top and bottom parts to the sides.
  • The back slips into the box instead of resting on it.
    • Pro tip: I used pocket hole joinery just in case I needed to disassemble the whole thing, and I’m glad I did. There was a miscalculation and I had to remove the box and cut it down by a few inches. If I had used a different joinery method, that would have been far more difficult.

Assemble the cabinet boxFamily Handyman