Being a tiki bar owner now for over 5 years I’ve learned things that I wish would have done and things that I’d never do again. I would like to share with you my Opossum Poop and improvements to my tiki bar.
First I want to discuss a few things that I learned building my own outside pub. The weather conditions in your area will determine how you build your bar. Here are ideas you need to pay attention to if you’re building an outside tiki bar.
Your Climate- If you live in a place which has warm summers and cold winters, then you’ll encounter the very same obstacles that I came against. Make sure that you use treated wood for any surface that comes in contact with the ground. That is why you have to use treated lumber; it shrinks less and will last much longer. Anytime you have wood that is exposed to the weather you need to pay close attention to the sort of wood you use and proper treating of the timber after it is installed.
Insects- I used white cedar logs to the construction of my roof construction because cedar is supposed to be less vulnerable to insect damage. Okay, throw that out the window, I went along for three years with no insect problems until last year. I noticed wood dust and compact chips lying on my bar top. I thought it was coming out of thatch breaking or falling apart but to my surprise I’d carpenter bees! After inspecting my white cedar logs I discovered holes around 3/8 inch bored in some of my logs. I knew I had to address this situation immediately and after doing some research I called an exterminator. A carpenter bee appears almost identical to some common bumble bee except no hair abdomen and the males can’t sting. They love natural cedar! May sure you employ either wood preservative or a great Valspar varnish for your logs.
Bar Top- There are several diverse opinions about what to use on your bar . It’s advised that you use marine plywood for the bar top, and for good reason. I used the next best thing I thought, oak plywood. The oak plywood was fine for the first couple of years, applying about ten coats of marine varnish. This would be fine except the edges of the plywood are extremely difficult to seal. To solve my problem I implemented glass tile into my tiki bar top using waterproof glue and grout. The marine plywood is very expensive but well worth the money.
Palm Thatch- The life of your roof on the tiki bar will definitely be dependent on your weather. You can figure on replacing your thatch palms at least every two years. The only way which you can eliminate this problem is to purchase high quality commercial synthetic thatch. The popularity of outdoor restaurants with tiki thatch roofs has developed a need for this synthetic thatch. I just re-thatched my pub with sealed thatch that will give you an extra two years of additional life.
Securing Your Bar- One thing I want to mention here, is anchoring your pub down is a must item. I’m fortunate enough that my bar is sitting on a concrete apron around my pool area. I used drop in concrete anchors to prevent my bar from blowing over in high winds.