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Bars are the focal point of many events and gatherings. They’re a place for people to gather, relax and socialize – and a portable bar can make it even easier. This article will explain everything you need to know about portable bars, the forms they come in, and what factors to consider before renting one for your next event.

What Is A Portable Bar?

A portable bar is a self-contained bar unit that can be easily moved to different areas. It typically consists of a frame, shelves, and a countertop. Portable bars are typically used for serving drinks at events, such as parties, corporate meetings, and conventions. They can also be rented for special occasions, such as weddings and anniversaries. Portable bars provide a convenient way to serve drinks without the hassle of setting up or reserving full-sized accommodations.

Different Types Of Portable Bars

While they all share the aspect of maneuverability, portable bars can differ from one another in form. They come in formats that cater to all sorts of event types, from small backyard parties to large corporate functions. The following section will review the most popular types of portable bars and explain what characteristics set each apart.

Sideboard Bars

Sideboard bar

Sideboard bars are the most popular type of mobile bar, as they’re quite versatile and easy to move around. These stations can vary in size but generally measure between 72 and 74 inches in length and 36 and 38 inches in height. They are all rectangular with depths of 17 to 20 inches and designed with a flat top surface and shelving or storage units beneath.

Sideboard bars are perfect for events where space is limited, as they can be snaked around furniture and other props to create a bar wherever needed. Their flat fronts come in plenty of unique styles and are easy to decorate with banners or lights.

Rail Bars

Vintage brass rail bar

Rail bars are really only characterized by one thing – the presence of a metal rail on their outer base. This is a nod to traditional full-sized bars, which usually have a brass rod along their bottom front for patrons’ feet.

The feature can serve an equal purpose in the context of mobile setups, although being smaller in size, are usually just for aesthetics. Rail bars come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 2-4 feet in length and 36-38 inches in height. Most embody a traditional or vintage look with real wood and brass-toned elements.

Moon Bars

White quarter moon bar

Moon bars are aptly named because of their curved fronts, which depending on the design of a given setup, can join to create a quarter, half, or full circle. This makes them perfect for events and environments with more open floor plans or a need for more surface space. The size of moon bars can vary, but their sections are generally between 4 and 8 feet in length.

Column Bars

Column bars offer a unique take on the traditional portable bar by doing away with a front panel and instead using columns to support its countertop. They are much larger than other mobile setups with average lengths of around 80 inches or greater.

The columns themselves usually make or break the verdict of whether this option is right for an event. Some planners love the thin, elevated look of the styled posts and use them to enhance their decor, while others prefer portable bars that have internal components and shelf room.

Pop-Up Bars

Pop-up bars are defined by their ability to be quickly and easily set up, which makes them the perfect solution for events with tight time constraints. They usually come in two parts, the base, and the countertop, with each part fitting together quickly like a puzzle.

Once set up, the bar measures 6 feet long and 36 to 40 inches high, with the countertop measuring 24 to 27 inches in depth. While not as intricate as sideboard bars, pop-up bars can also be decorated with lights and banners to fit any theme.

Popular Portable Bar Materials And Designs

Portable bars are available in a range of varieties to suit any taste. From stylish wood bars to sleek metal designs, each material offers its own unique look and feel. Below are just a few examples of popular styles that can be rented out.


The classic look of metal lends itself well to a portable bar. It is solid and durable, making it an ideal choice if you are looking for a reliable bar that will last for years. Brass in particular is a popular option, as it adds an elegant touch to any setting and can easily be matched with other materials. This material is also corrosion-resistant, making it perfect for outdoor use. It offers an eye-catching appeal that will make your bar stand out from the crowd.


Wood is a popular choice for portable bars due to its versatility, durability, and warm aesthetic. It can be stained, distressed, washed, or left in its natural state to create a range of effects.

Distressed wood gives bars a classic, vintage look with its unique texture and patterns. Stained wood allows for a variety of color choices and adds a sophisticated, polished finish. Washed wood offers an organic feel with its subtle hues, while natural wood is perfect for those who want a timeless, rustic look.

Grey washed chevron bar

Popular wood choices for portable bars include mahogany and walnut. Both kinds of wood are strong and offer a luxurious feel, though mahogany is typically darker in color while walnut has a lighter hue.

Glass and Mirror

Theon mirror front bar

Glass and mirror materials can create an exquisite look when used in a portable bar. Clear glass has a contemporary appeal that can be used to create a modern and sleek atmosphere. Mirrored designs are especially popular, as they can reflect light in different directions to create visual interest. Glass and mirror bars are perfect for those who want a polished, sophisticated style.

Faux Greenery

Faux greenery is a great way to add atmosphere and life to a portable bar. Artificial plants, flowers, and foliage are available in an array of styles, colors, and sizes to suit any need. Not only are they easy to maintain and transport, but they can also be used indoors or outdoors to add a splash of color and life to any setting.

What To Consider When Renting a Portable Bar For Your Event

Portable bars can be a great addition to any event, from backyard barbecues to large corporate functions. But before you rent one, you should consider a few things.

The Type Of Beverages You Will Serve

Not all portable bars are designed for the same types of drinks—some are better suited for beer and wine, while others are designed to serve cocktails. Consider the type of beverages you’ll be serving at your event and make sure you rent the bar that’s best suited for it.

The Size Of Your Event

The size of your event is important when considering a portable bar rental. If you’re hosting a more intimate gathering, such as a family reunion or small birthday party, a small portable bar may be just the right size. But if you’re hosting a large event with more than one hundred guests, you’ll need a large portable bar that can accommodate crowds.

The Location Of Your Event

If you’re hosting your event outdoors, you’ll need to make sure that the portable bar you rent is suitable for outdoor use. Some bars are designed specifically for outdoor events, while others are designed for indoor use only.


Not all portable bars come with the same amount of shelving – some have just one shelf, while others have multiple shelves. This could be a make-or-break factor, depending on how much alcohol and other supplies you’ll need to store. Generally speaking, box-style sideboard bars and other enclosed options will have more internal space for items than a column or pop-up setup. Looking at the measured depth of the bars you’re considering can be helpful in gauging just how much can fit on each shelf.


Budget is always an important consideration when renting a portable bar. You’ll want to look for bars that fit within your budget, but also have the features you need to make your event a success. Be sure to get quotes from several different vendors and compare them side-by-side. This will help you get the best bang for your buck.

Set Up And Take Down

Where will your event be held? How much time will you have to set things up and take them down? These are important questions to answer when renting a portable bar. Many companies offer delivery, set-up, and take-down services, but not all of them do. Make sure that the company you choose can provide these services if needed, and if not, that you select a bar you’re comfortable setting up and taking down yourself.

Renting a portable bar can elevate your event in more ways than one. Whether you’re looking for a sleek metal option, a classic wood design, or something more unique, there are plenty of materials and styles to choose from. Hopefully, this article served as a good starting point! As you know, Curated Events offers high-end and unique bars in just about any style or material you are looking for!