Home & Design

Belly Up to the Bar Cart

AS WE ROLL into the holiday season, I’m making another pitch for a wonderful entertaining “accessory” (for those who have the room). “Tea cart” seems so Barbara Pym, while “bar cart” conjures 1930s and ’40s Hollywood screwball comedies. It’s the piece of furniture I wanted as a little girl, imagining it to be the ultimate adult accouterment.

That may or may not be, but there is certainly a fine assortment of bar carts, as I choose to call them, on the market, at just about every price point. I currently have two (what was I thinking?), so this time around I’m just browsing.

—Nancy McKeon

A truly handsome addition to any room, the 32-inch-wide Hudson Bar Cart, designed by Duncan Hughes for Dowel, offers a dozen finish choices for the maple-wood frame. It has brass fittings, a glass top and a mirrored tray that serves as the bottom shelf. It is $2,300 from Dowel Furniture. I can imagine Nick and Nora Charles keeping this at hand at all times (did you ever count up the number of martinis consumed in those old Thin Man movies? Yikes!). / Image on the front from iStock.


Ikea calls this stainless-steel number a kitchen cart, but there’s no reason it can’t find a place in a modern  living room or dining area. About 24 by 16 inches, and a little over 35 inches tall, the Kungsfors cart has locking casters and is $149. The top shelf lifts off as a tray.


Bar cart or tableside serving console? Whichever, this 40-inch-wide rattan South Seas rolling cart can corral dishes and bottles and glassware and basically organize your cocktail and dining life.And to my eye  it looks good for winter or summer. It’s $648 in natural or black rattan at Serena & Lily.

Scully & Scully of Park Avenue knows from presentation. This 33-inch-wide bar cart is silver-plated, with serious casters for easy moving (and locking brakes for staying in place). The top tray is removable, and the bottom shelf features a rail to keep bottles upright. It’s $3,750 at Scully & Scully.


Because it’s not always cocktail hour, this lightweight bar cart (or tea cart, if you insist) folds away until next time. It’s 26 inches wide and $900 at Scully & Scully.


This is a slim alternative for smaller spaces (at 18¼ inches in diameter, it can also be used in the bath—think of your at-hand storage needs in that small room). The Alton Bar Cart is on wheels and has round antique-finish mirrored shelves. Making the cart tall and slim allows for tall bottles (excellent thinking). It’s made of stainless steel with a rubbed-bronze finish and is on sale for $374.25 at Ballard Designs.


The Jacobe Bar Cart from Pottery Barn offers another space-saving solution. At 17½ inches in diameter, and 32 inches high, Jacobe is made of iron and mango wood, with mango-veneer trays. The top tray can be lifted out for serving. Regularly $299, it’s now $224.


The Nines bar cart from Dimond Home is metal with an electroplated nickel finish. Pure and simple and perfect for a modern setting or a traditional one. It’s 24 by 17 inches and almost 30 inches tall. The shelves are mirrored. It’s $487.80 at LightingNewYork.com, and until December 5, 2019, there’s a 15% discount if you use the code CYBER19.


People are funny about booze. If you want the convenience of a bar without looking at bottles all the time, the Winston Bar from Elite Modern may meet your needs. It measures 26 inches square and 44¼ inches tall and costs $1,799 to $2,489 at Jensen-Lewis, depending on the finish you choose (the metal frame comes in seven tones, while the covering can be microfiber, leather or Ultrasuede in a choice of colors).


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2 thoughts on “Belly Up to the Bar Cart

  1. Thanks for mentioning my Duncan Hughes for Dowel bar cart! Comes in so many finishes, classic and modern, all wrapped up in one bar cart!

    1. Nancy McKeon says:

      I’m happy you saw the post! I think it may be the handsomest one out there! (If i didn’t already have two . . . )

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