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Nothing says holiday cheer like a stocked bar! Or does it. I’d like to submit the following as the etiquette question of the day: Is it better to disguise the hard stuff behind/under/inside a nice piece of furniture? I ask because it seems that offerings for barely-there home bars are popping up everywhere. Take Ballard Designs (which, by the way, is offering free shipping through Dec. 13). Right now they’re featuring no less than three handsome hide-the-booze pieces. So what happened to stashing the rum in a kitchen cabinet? Does it make it more civilized or is it a little weird to have a whole piece of furniture devoted to cocktails? I’m torn on the topic. Thoughts?

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7 Responses

  1. Ann says:

    You know, it's not so new. The locked liquor cabinet is really a throwback to the 50s, 60s and 70s. Obviously people who enjoy cocktails are the only ones who would buy this kind of furniture, but so what? May as well go for it!

  2. MAGNAVERDE says:

    The only thing worse than going to a "party" and finding a platter of crackers & a can of Cheez-Whiz on a leather ottoman the size of Nebraska is being ushered directly into the kitchen where you & your fellow guests are forced into serving as impromptu vegetable choppers. I'm sorry, that's the caterer's job, and if they want me to do it instead, then I want $7.25 an hour.

    No, I stay away from the kitchen when I go out, and I expect people to stay the hell out of mine when they come to my place. And the easiest way to make sure they do just that is to take the drinks & glasses out of the kitchen & put them in easy reach & plain sight in a public room, to prevent mixing a drink from turning into a game of hide-&-seek, and also to prevent booze-soaked guests from wandering into the kitchen offering suggestions about how much basil I should use.

    For that kind of relaxed, help-yourself-to-drinks-but-stay-out-of-the-kitchen event, the best thing is a big table stocked with all the necessities and a few things to make it look cool. In the 196Os, David Hick's created massive tablescapes that featured ranks of gin & vodka bottles, port & sherry in crystal decanters, Georgian sliver bowls piled with limes & crystal buckets of ice, all stacked up on a marble-topped William Kent side table.

    I don't know anybody with a real William Kent table these days, but the look of abundance isn't hard to capture–limes & ice, at least, are cheap–and a fully stocked table, even if it's only stocked with Pabst Blue Ribbon, is an unmistakable sign of welcome, especially when it's located in proximity to a cushy down sofa, and in the traffic path of whatever circulating snacks the peasants in the kitchen are fixing.

    But locking up the booze? That's only for households with kids or servants, neither of which live at my place. I am my own butler, and the fewer questions I have to answer, the better for everyone.


  3. Lady Peach says:

    Magnaverde couldn't have said it better! If we had kids, we would be more inclined to lock up our liquor, but we don't and we entertain frequently, so it's out in the open. To me, it makes it much easier for guests to serve themselves and gives them that "make yourself at home" feeling if they don't have to actually ask you for a refill.

    Our more frequent guests now know they can walk right to the bar cart and make themselves a drink when they come over. I keep it stocked for this very reason– as hubby and I only drink occasionally.

    Now if we had friends or family members who we KNEW had a drinking problem, I might reconsider displaying them out in the open.

  4. Raylene Kinyon says:

    I disagree with both of the other postings. Maybe it's because of the last generation, that seems to me had a large number of alcoholics. but I think people today have no problem with a couple of bottles of wine in a ice bucket or nice expensive beer in a cool contemporary ice bucket but to leave hard liquor out visable all the time reeks of people who drink too much. In these days of the healthy lifestyle, I believe most people would frown on it so blatantly visable.

  5. Alicia Elliott says:

    I would love to have a place to lock up my liquor. I do have children, so it is necessary to have it locked away. Unfortunately, I currently have all my liquor on top of the fridge because I have no other place for it. Guests are always commenting on it and I'm tired of people thinking I'm a lush. We have a considerable amount of alcohol, mostly because we don't drink very often and still have a lot left over from my husbands homecoming party. I tell frequent visitors (my in-laws) that if we were alcoholics there wouldn't be that much up there, now would there. I would love some suggestions of where I could find a small, CHEAP, lockable bar. Otherwise, I'm just gonna have to wait til I get to redo my kitchen and make a liquor cabinet.

    Til then,

    Your favorite "lush"

  6. Dee says:

    A friend of mine has a modern-looking grandfather clock that opens for storage. That's where she keeps her booze. I love dual-purpose furniture (I live in a small apt).

  7. julieismetoo says:

    Good day! 

    Wow, I've found the same to be true too!  Where did you get that at?  

    See you soon! Girly Girl 

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