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Ultimate guide to bar gantries

Used in both bars and restaurants alike, bar gantries are a great way to save space on counter tops and bars whilst creating a showstopping centerpiece in the room.  

In this article, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide explaining everything you need to know. Such questions include: what types of gantry there are, the correct mounting height, where to put them and how to style them.

What is a bar gantry?

FIxed bar gantry

Image credit - Pinterest 

Often used in restaurants and bars, a gantry is a shelving system that provides easy access to glasses and other barware needed to make drinks. It’s usually fixed or suspended above the bar.

Although traditionally used in commercial settings, bar gantries have become increasingly popular for domestic use. With space a premium in any kitchen, they’re a useful solution to free up countertop and cupboard space, giving you more room to prep food and drinks.

As well as their practical use, bar gantries make an amazing statement piece. They are particularly well suited to open-plan kitchens and restaurants, providing more storage without boxing everything in.

Bar gantry ideas

There are a few different styles of bar gantry available that are suitable for both commercial and home use. If you love the idea of your own at-home bar gantry, take a look and see which one suits your vision.

Fixed bar gantry

Open bar shelving

 Image credit - IronAbode (Etsy)

Fixed gantries tend to consist of a brass or stainless steel frame. They can either be fixed directly to the bar or to the ceiling above. They are often sturdy in build and simple in design. 

This style can be a little more cumbersome, especially when they are fixed to the counter as they can take up space. This means that they may not be ideal for smaller spaces, however, If you have the room, they can really make a statement.

Wall-mounted bar shelves

Hanging bar gantry

SHOP - Melli Hanging Or Wall Mounted Gantry

 

As the name suggests, this type of gantry is attached to the wall, freeing up the countertop.

While this gives you more room for prep, there needs to be a wall directly behind your bar area in which to hang it. Note – many of these bar shelves can be either fixed to a wall or suspended from the ceiling allowing for greater versatility. Always check the product description before buying.

Hanging bar gantry

Often suspended from chains or rope, a hanging bar gantry makes use of the overhead area that is otherwise unreachable.

This type of gantry doesn’t need to be attached to a wall, making it really versatile. It can even be hung directly over a kitchen island in the centre of the room, creating a practical and eye-catching focal point to the room.

What is the correct bar gantry height?

Bar gantry height

Image credit - Louwersedejong.nl

 

Whether choosing a wall-mounted or hanging bar gantry, you need to install it at the right height.

The point of a gantry is to keep everything you need close by, so the shelves should be within easy reach. It’s important that the gantry isn’t so low that it obstructs your view or is easy to bump your head on.

Ultimately, the height is up to your personal preference, but make sure the top shelf is within arm’s reach and the lowest shelf no less than 150cm from the floor.

Where should I put a bar gantry?

When deciding where to place your bar gantry, it’s important to consider how you’ll be using it. The two most common rooms for a bar gantry are the kitchen and dining room.

 

Bar gantry in the kitchen

Kitchen bar gantry

Image credit - The Main Company

If you love making cocktails, you’ll need easy access to the fridge, freezer and maybe even an electric blender.

In this instance, it’s best to place your bar gantry in the kitchen so you’ve got everything you need within easy reach of your prep area.

Bar gantry in the dining room

If you love hosting dinner parties, a dining room bar gantry will really elevate your hosting.

Stock the shelves with your guests’ favourite tipples, a selection of glasses and a bucket of ice, making it easy to top up drinks throughout the evening.

How to style bar shelving

One of the most attractive features of a bar gantry are its open shelves, which makes it super versatile when it comes to accessories. Whether you choose to style it with drinks-related accoutrements or a few handy cocktail books, there are lots of ways to style your bar shelves for a unique and eye-catching display.

Glassware

Hanging WIne Glass Rack

SHOP - Melli Mini Hanging Glass Rack

From elegant crystalware to quirky vintage tumblers, glassware helps to further define your chosen aesthetic.

As well as looking fabulous, it’s also a practical choice, making it easy to grab a glass when you’re making a drink.

Barware

Different types of barware instantly elevate your shelves to a professional-looking gantry.

Cocktail shakers, serving trays, bar spoons and cocktail strainers are all attractive and useful items for your gantry.

Liquor display

A bar gantry makes a perfect liquor display. With many beautiful shapes, colours and label designs available, liquor bottles offer instant visual appeal.

Show off your favourite drinks, create a mini bar with your most frequently used spirits, or display empty vintage bottles.

Books

Books add intrigue and appeal to shelves and coffee tables – and they can look great on your gantry, too.

Theme your books by opting for cocktail recipes, bar guides, and books dedicated to the history of your favourite spirit or distillery.

Plants

Bar gantry plants

Image Credit - Dezeen

 

Any home looks and feels better with a few carefully placed shelf plants to add a natural touch.

A trailing plant will look beautiful cascading from your gantry shelves. Pothos, string of pearls, spider plants and ferns are just a few choices to get you started.

 

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