Bar carts are back in a very big way. They disappeared ages ago, and then in all those scenes from Mad Men, when the clink of ice cubes rang in the drama, bar carts were always there. Now, they are coming back.
When the show closed production, there was an auction of the set pieces, and there was a bar cart for every character. Don’s was extra large and looked like it might double as a desk, bed or hospital gurney. Joan’s looked like a tea trolley, and Megan’s was a luggage stand. The furniture was as typecast as the actors.
There are bar carts at every price level and for every personality, from low three figures to the stratosphere where the Italian antiques from the mid-20th century reside. They look positively aerodynamic, with swooping lines like they are on the move and, because more bar carts do have casters, they can move easily from room to room.
Most bar carts are two-level configurations with wheels, which seems a bit dicey, as there is a lot that can go wrong when flat trays of tall glass bottles and cocktail glasses get mobile. Safer, it seems, are the carts that have more architectural structure, wine-bottle racks or, at the very least, rails around the edges of the shelves. The two-shelf models waste a great deal of space, making the three-level carts seem more practical, with more storage.
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The best aspect of bar carts of any configuration is that they free the host and hostess from bar-tending duties. Bar carts announce that it is OK to mix your own drink, and because they are mobile, they can go where the party goes.
Here is a small sampling of the variety of bar carts ready to roll for holiday parties.