Cool Chairs of Florida
Jim Kane - Owner - Designer - Builder 


Best Southern Bars

                       Introducing the Four Bar Models

 The "Big Easy," the "Big Dog", the "Cajun" and the "Bayou"

These designs could be redone to make a unique TV table, entertainment center, buffet table, sofa table, bookshelf, desk, kitchen island, etc. to fit a specific space of your home. 

This page includes some of my newest designs for 2012. Use these bar designs as ideas as most customers have a little tweak here and there to make their bar a special piece of furniture whether it is in the backyard or on the porch or deck.  I know several customers have their new furniture I built for them inside their home such as in the "Florida room".

As a side note, one of the reasons I saw a need for this type of good looking outdoor bar, buffet table, whatever was after looking at some of my customers back decks and backyards. I saw some "interesting" bars and other tables that were made from left-over deck materials and were put together with a nail gun. The finished products looked like "boat docks".

Even many of the expensive outdoor stainless steel type
cabinets I have seen had a lot of rust in less than two years (because the stainless steel was #304 grade - it contained steel in the finished product). Not all stainless steel prevents rust especially in salt-air areas where I live. The best stainless steel for outside is #316 marine grade and that is very expensive, too expensive for large cabinets or a grill. Another money saving reason why good exterior wood furniture with a great oil-based stain is the way to go. You can always just touch it up with a quick new coat of oil based stain and the best part ... no sanding.

This piece can quickly become your favorite gathering spot. Use as a bar one time and then a buffet table the next time. It's great for organizing your party, grill area, outdoor kitchen or garden. Since some of these pieces use recycled materials, some of these pictures may be listed in the Go Green Collection too.

Rustic, Unique and Cool ..... I knew I needed a name (Best Southern Bars) to help you find what you didn't know you needed and here you are --- no designated driver needed here - this is for your backyard. Together we can combine our imaginations to design and build something really special. When you looked in a magazine (or on Pinterest) and saw a dream backyard, I can help you get there. This is it - now is the time.  Every week I get phone calls and E-mails about projects.  You can E-mail me photos of your backyard or porch and even photos of furniture from magazines to as attachments.

I have more plans and ideas for the front of these one-of-a-kind bars.   The list includes using lots of vintage yardsticks, steampunk hardware, multiple chevron diagonals, barnwood, rustic/vintage fireplace surrounds, shipping/forklift pallets and different bar counter tops including Brazilian Ipe and thick mantles with custom corbels.  I can add / design bar fronts that include ... hurricane shutters, car parts, horseshoes, surfboards, waterskis, vintage pick-up truck tailgates and the list goes on. 

("Sport" themes and "work" themes are in the works right now) ..... This includes baseball bats (cut in half - this is not easy to do!) being placed on the front of the bars.  I can add a home plate, diamond infield or baseball/softball.  See beginning picture below.  I also have plans for an old wood ladder on the front (for a foot rest), several hooks and even a fireman shield for my Fireman's "Hook & Ladder" design.  Still trying to find the right ladders and hooks.  No pictures yet.  Trying to come up with football themes for these bars design also. 

("Back to the Future") Designs Coming ..... Also trying to reuse recycled items like iron sewing machine bases, retro pieces, dressers & other tables for smaller bars or TV stands.  I get a lot of ideas from Pinterest and going into local antique stores and thrift stores.  What are your ideas?


The "Big Easy" with Pecky Cedar fronts and sides

 Posted on 4/28/12

New bar design for 2012 ... Introducing the "Big Dog" featuring Pecky Cedar and a wraparound foot rest. The bar is 41" high, 46" wide and 29" deep.  Unstained at this time.

I plan to build more of these "Big Easy" bars with different front face looks (diagonal front face, galvanized metal, recycled shutters ..... just whatever I have on hand that looks good to give your more options for this size and shape.  I have several stain samples that make this pecky cedar look dark and really cool.     

                                    The "Big Dog" Models
     Featuring Pecky Cedar, Pecky Cypress & Flow-Thru Shelving

The front sides can designed to include rusty roofing tin, license plates, old doors, windows & shutters.  Most of the designs could also be used for bed head boards, kitchen islands, entertainment centers and TV tables.  These bars are quite heavy which is why there are built in handles on the sides.  They also add to the look! 

Front of a new bar design for 2012 - Features "Pecky Cedar" in a "Double Diagonal" design.   42" H x 72" L

A visit just today by a customer in my showroom asked if I could make this into a bed headboard. I answered sure with a few changes in the dimensions - and add a matching foot board.  Stained or left natural this could be a really unique bed.  But remember I wanted to design a bar in the first place.  The depth of the bar could be up to you.

Pecky cedar (and pecky cypress) comes with different degrees of pecky - some boards are more aggressive meaning there are lot of cut-outs that are wide, deep or all over the boards.  A lower degree of pecky would be where there are less cut-outs.  I think you can see both of these examples on the above picture. 

I used washers for spacers between the boards to give it a better look rather than butting the boards together.  This side is lightly sanded so you can still see the saw blade marks - but it leaves it a little rough to the touch - no splinters though.  All the edges and corners have been routered and sanded for safety.  The other side I planed down to a even flat surface as an optional front face.  I dug out all the holes and tunnels left by the fungus so it would stain better. You can smell the cedar but it still is not overwhelming.
I now have 5 stain samples using Sikkens oil based Cetol 1 (3 coats) & one sample using Sikkens oil based SRD (1 coat). They include ... Cape Cod Gray (SRD), Mahogany, Dark Oak, Teak, Butternut and Cedar. Because cedar is already red, the colors vary when you stain cedar vs. staining cypress even when you use the same stains.  I have made samples of both in my shop and plan to upload those soon.

        Posted on July 24, 2012

       Another "Big Dog" Model Rustic Bar - double diagonal front face.        Dimensions are L .. 60", H .. 42", D .. 36"

This is the same bar above only now it's a bar ready to be stained.  Made from pecky cedar, cedar and #1 grade deck boards (for frame & strength).  Bottom shelf and main shelf are made from heavy duty plastic "Thru-Flow" dock material. Custom front cedar foot rail.

There has been so much interest on this model that I've already started two bars similar to this one. Move it indoors for a really classic bar. Long brace on each side of the bar are for moving bar without having to use the top. This bar is heavy.  Add a custom dolly for more location options.

         First Coat of "Dark Oak" Sikkens Stain
Halfway stained first coat to show before and after pictures - there will
be three total stain coats - comparing left to right front sides above.

 First coat of stain complete - August 17th
Finished first coat of stain - the combination of reddish pecky cedar
and dark oak stain makes this bar have a rich reddish-brown color.

   Top and bottom shelving from dock material
           Top Shelf of the bar showing "Thru-Flo" material.

This allows for water and spillage to go right thru the bar as the bottom shelf is made from the same material.  Just add a piece of smaller granite that you can move around if you need a cutting surface that is a solid surface on either shelf.  This material comes in three colors ... white, gray or maple (shown - light tan).  This material comes in 3', 4' and 5' sections and are 12" wide.


                     Vertical Front Design
                        large rustic bar similar to the ones above

Pecky Cedar (combined with cypress) is show with vertical front design. Dimensions: L .. 60", H .. 42", D .. 36" This is still in the building phase.  Front foot rest will be similar to other bar pictures. I am considering two cross-braces to make this look like a barn door (see next picture). Also adding corbels (to be designed) to help support the bar top. See top bar picture for potential similar shape for corbels.

                     Barn Door Design  (same bar above)

This is the same bar again with a different design made to look like a barn
door and the temporary foot rest (just not finished yet).

The "Cajun" Models - same size as the "Big Dog" Models
only they feature weathered, rusty or even new galvanized metal fronts and sides / wrapped in pecky cedar or other recycled wood.

          Galvanized metal front  (new galvanized sheets)

In order to tone down the shine from new galvanized metal, I put these
metal sheets in the Gulf of Mexico and used other homemade combinations.
This looks really sharp when combined with the pecky cedar (see bar below).

        Front bar face with galvanized metal

Front face has pecky cedar surrounding metal panels.  Added decorative 4 x 4 full porch posts give this bar front a great look.  Still under design, this bar may (or will) have a matching center porch post, front foot rail and matching side panels made from more galvanized metal.  This look does not have any rust (yet) as the bars shown below.  Just depends what kind of look you are trying to achieve.  You may even have some old sheets of metal or other material that I can add to your bar for a personal ownership.

    Old Weathered Rusty Roofing Metal Bar Front

I finally was able to obtain some "rare to find" rusty metal for this bar front.  With all the recycling metal hunters out there, most of this is very difficult to find.  Many thanks to Craigslist.  This picture shows just the front side so I don't have to build a whole bar for you to see the design.  Any original shine from new galvanized metal is weathered & long gone.  I consider this "light rust."

Decorative 4 x 4 porch posts cut in half

This close-up picture shows a pressure treated decorative
4 x 4 porch post that has been cut in half.  This design can
be added to any bar front.  See your local big box home
improvement store or lumber yard for additional possible
post designs to add a little more character.

Another picture showing the 4 x 4 half porch post on left and
a smaller full porch post on the right (center of the face).

      Baseball Bats added to the front of a "Cajun" Model
Add your favorite team name, baseball diamond, team colors
   to show everyone who are the champions in your house.

        Could be a great looking TV table!

Shows the full front face with two possible half 4 x 4 decorative porch posts and smaller center full post.  I would probably make the center smaller post be the same size as the side half posts.  Just another idea to consider.  The burlap bags shown in the upper corners are actual coffee bean burlap bags from both Costa Rica and Brazil.  I'm going to frame them in the near future to add more texture, color and character to my shop.

   New bar front design ideas using license plates

Add license plates to the front face (L/R sides as shown (12 frames needed),
picture frame shape (22 frames needed) or the entire front face (36 frames
needed, etc).  Sides could be matching too!

   New bar front design ideas
Add license plates to the center of the front flanked by galvanized metal
(6 frames needed).

  License plates on the top and bottom front side

  Cut-out tin letters form "EAT"

These rusty letters could be attached on a bar front (or another piece of galvanized metal as shown and framed out with wood).  The example above is considered heavy rust.  Short words work best on a bar, on a wall or on a hanging framed wood item .. words could include BAR, LOVE, BEACH, SURF, your favorite sports team, family name or other theme for your bar or wall-hanging.



New bar front and/or side designs could contain theme signs (that you provide or I provide) ... This could include license plates, tin signs, wood signs, hand painted signs, beverage signs and so on.   You could provide signs or items that you already own and want to put on the bar front or sides.   You could include lighted neon signs (Harley-Davidson sign middle right).

Some themes ideas:  NFL or college team, Harley Davidson, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, A & W Root Beer, favorite beer, the beach and surfing, hot rods, police, fire department, military, gas stations & garages, Route 66, etc.  Add a wall mounted bottle opener with a similar logo as above products/themes.

The prices of some of these signs/license plates/neon lights and other signage can range from $15-20 each to a lot more after you pay for shipping.  I can direct you to websites if you need help here. 

The "Bayou" Models with Pecky Cypress fronts and sides

     Posted on February 11, 2012
               The new 2012 "BAYOU" Bar Model   (Model #1)

     New outside bar design - pecky cypress on the front runs horizontal.
          This bar is stained with Sikkens Cetol 1 - Cedar color (3 coats).
            The top is juniper - stains great - limited juniper quantities.

          Inside has one shelf so you put in tall bottles or a large cooler.
      Dimensions ... 47" L, 33" H, 24" W - custom sizes & tops available.

     Posted on February 11, 2012
Top of new bar design - Edges were routered and sanded.  Top was lightly
sanded so that the lumber yard saw blade marks stayed and added a huge
amount of character - first coat of cedar colored stain - this will appear dry
until I add the second coat.  Definitely a "rustic" bar.  More pictures soon.

       Posted on February 11, 2012
                The new 2012 "BAYOU" Bar Model  (Model #2)

Pecky Cypress  (3 1/2" wide) set vertically.  No stain yet.  Each
of the sides has a strip of recycled roofing metal set in the center
between pecky cypress.  This model is the same size as the one
above that has horizontal boards.  This model has an extra shelf
inside.   No stain yet. See below for 1st coat of stain.

This is the latest picture for BAYOU Bar #2.   The front is Pecky Cypress & the top
is made from Juniper.   The stain is Sikkens Cetol 1 oil based stain.  The color is
Dark Oak and it makes the pecky marks turn black. When you combine the dark
oak color against the black cut-outs, it is really impressive.

Here is a side view of one of the recycled roofing tin inserts.


     Posted on March 4, 2012
  This is the above bar showing the top.  You can see the circular saw blade
cut marks that make this bar stand out against the store bought clean look.
Juniper wood takes stain very well and shows off - can't wait until it gets
all three coats.

     Posted on February 21, 2012
  First picture of the front side of new "Bayou" model bar (model #3).
   The main frame is made from pressure treated 5/4" deck boards &
   2 x 4 cypress for strength. The sides, front & trim boards are made
                    from pecky cypress.  More pictures to follow.
  These double diagonals are going to stand out more when stained.

I just finished staining this bar first coat (of three coats) of Mahogany.   Everyone who comes into my showroom says this one is already their favorite.   I want to make this one say "WOW, Holy Batman".  Just imagine the top made from copper!  I estimate this will add about $200 to the price but it will be worth it when you see it.  This finished top will be about 50" x 30".

I made the top using thick, rough cut Pecky Cedar.  I am waiting until the top is completely plugged before I start to sand the top (slowly and lightly).  Plugs for the top will also me made from scraps of the same cedar boards.  I want to leave as much lumber yard saw blade circular marks as possible.  The top will be stained a different color than the Mahogany - my first two-color design.  RUSTIC but COOL!   SEE PICTURES BELOW FOR FINISHED BAR!!!  This get rave reviews!

Model #4 may have a recycled metal front and copper top - yoooww! This could be really cool and a great addition to anyone's outdoor furniture set.  I'm now a frequent visitor at the two local metal recycling centers in town.  No one has seen the bar #4 model yet - coming this Fall.  Lots of recycled metal and multiple/different levels - another creative design.

NEW: Bar #5 may be made from BLACK SINKER CYPRESS.  Can't wait to start!  Pictures of Sinker Cypress to be loaded.

  Posted on 4/16/12
Newest of the BEST SOUTHERN BAR Collection ... from the "Bayou" series (#3)

   Posted on 4/16/12
Inside view of this bar.  You can store tall bottles, a huge cooler of ice and drinks, even a galvanized
bucket (or two) for iced soft drinks.  Let the party begin - this is party central.

One-Of-A-Kind Bar Designs

These designs can also be used as TV tables,
buffet tables, potting tables, front entrance tables or porch tables

This vintage bar is made from a
Singer Sewing Machine Base and a Red Radio Flyer Wagon.
Party Time !

  Posted on February 9, 2012
TV inserted into custom top of this outdoor cedar table.

            Special Order - using our imagination
This table was custom made to hold a 32" TV on the
top shelf on a back porch. It is totally made from
cedar & has three coats of stain to help bring out the
knots and different colors on every board. Could be
adapted for many uses including a unique bar. See
next picture with TV in place.

There are additional pictures of this bar unstained and
with the TV in place on the page ... Picture Gallery #2.

       Posted on October 10, 2011
   Indoor or Outdoor Multi-Use All-Cedar Table

Place on a front or back porch, in the hall, in the backyard, just wherever you need a good looking unique table.
Suggested for use as a bar, potting table, buffet & grilling table, wine table and .....   The four legs are 20 year
old rough-cut cedar 2 x 4 's I found in the back field of a lumberyard.  I planed the wide sides and left the rough
cuts on the narrow side for some unique character.  You just can't find lumber like this anywhere.

  Bar / Table with window frame & birdhouses cut into top.

One-of-a-kind bar / table with top shelf and matching bench.
    Includes multiple birdhouse cutouts and picket fence.

  Table with two top shelves and two doors on bottom
                       Painted Sailboat on doors
        Top shelf is 4" deep, bottom shelf is 6" deep.
       Towel bar on the front made from a 1" dowel.

            Bar / Table with window frame and side shelf.
Two birdhouse designs on the upper part of each taller post.

       Bar / Table with fan / sunrise on back & top shelf.

 Bar / Table with "Garden gate" on back and picket fences.


"New" Outdoor Desk Idea (or ...) ..... (4/10/12) I just had a customer ask me about using this design as an outdoor writing desk for the back porch. They loved the pecky cypress look. I'm sure it could work. Just leave the inside bottom shelf out so a chair would fit inside and make the height appropriate for writing, paying bills on your laptop while watching your dog chase squirrels or whatever.

NOTE: I already have made an outdoor desk for a writer's outdoor back porch. It allows a chair to fit inside & the top is made from cedar. I made this one so you could take the top off if you were moving. There are two pictures on my GO GREEN COLLECTION (about 2/3 down the page) posted on Oct. 25, 2009 - pictures taken on a Florida beach.

ATTENTION RETAIL STORE OWNERS:   Some of these designs may make some great "display counters" or "tables" for clothing, jewelry or other products that you sell. Bring some added attention to your special products either on the sales floor or "in the window" or both. I can trade pieces out for newer models or customized pieces to meet seasonal needs. For stores in the Florida Panhandle, I am considering renting these products (see GO GREEN COLLECTION for more possible item ideas) or a trade-off where you can help me display business flyers and business cards on my products. I will advertise where people can come see these products "at your store" on my website and in my showroom so you will get MORE walk-in customers. We both win. Call me if you are interested. This is not for big box stores but rather for one-of-a-kind small businesses just like me.

Just like all by orders, I get swamped in the early Spring for orders so I will need advance notice to make these new bars. I keep very little products in my shop to go since I am always working on orders and back orders 7-day-a-week. See you soon.

In this collection, most of the tall backs shown are between 63-72" tall. Window frames vary in sizes and shapes (3 panel, 4 panel or 6 panel) and do not include glass unless requested by you. For a truly custom look, you can provide the window frame and include glass or shutters. You can select from one of the styles shown (including no back at all) or I can work with you to design a table for you. Additional shelving can be added to further customize your table.

Table tops in this collection vary in height and can be customized to be taller, shorter, wider or deeper to sit a special place at your home.

Additional options include wheels, custom shelving on top or sides, bottom shelf or left open, matching bench, doors, picket fences and real gate hardware. For a western look, I can add horseshoes, stars and other cast iron items you may already own such as old house numbers or hooks. Include your old license plate(s) or other personal items for a look from the past.

Remember ... the bigger the table the heavier and more difficult to get inside doorways and out to the back porch (apartment or condo). That's why I also make custom dollys for each bar.

    Galvinized metal with stained cypress framework

Use as a bed headboard attached to the wall, magnetic message board in a
hallway or turn upright for a message board on a door.  Framework can be
replaced by recycled wood from pallets and/or stained.  I painted the corner
brackets a rusty brown color to match the rust and give it an industrial look.

This is light rust shown.  The stain shown is Cape Cod Gray and the outside
dimensions are 84" long by 27" wide.  Assorted magnets shown on left side.

Make half the board a chalkboard or even a cork board for calendars, etc.

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