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Ben Anthony profile image Ben Anthony

The Bar - Not all fun and games

Five plus years ago, if you told me I'd have a bar in my backyard, I'd look at you funny, because the original idea came from one of my ex wives and I literally thought she'd lost her mind... seriously. But after some time

The Bar - Not all fun and games
It actually takes work too!

Five plus years ago, if you told me I'd have a bar in my backyard, I'd look at you funny, because the original idea came from one of my ex wives and I literally thought she'd lost her mind... seriously.

But after some time pondering and mentioning to my buddy and neighbor Mark, we decided to build it... Happy Wife, Happy life right?

Seriously - at first I didn't like the idea.

Fast forward to present day and the Pour Decisions Bar in my backyard has become something of great pride to me, something I helped build with my own 2 hands and that has so many memories (160+ and growing) that have been left behind.

Don't get me wrong, I love having the bar in my backyard, but it's not all fun and games, it does actually take real work.

For anyone that knows me, they will know that I'm pretty ADD and that these steps might not necessarily happen in this order, but these are the typical chores to get set up for a "Friday night at the Pour Decisions bar".. or any other night really... as long as it ends in "Y".

The ice... I always forget about the damn ice.... This is truly a pain in the ass, because who doesn't want a cold drink? You're probably asking yourself, why don't you just get a fridge for the bar?

Well, I do have one but it's a mini one so making ice in there, would be more of a pain than it would be worthwhile. This means I need to trek to the house to get the ice... (Not that it's far and I don't mind the walk, but since I wear my robe 85% of the time, it can get pretty breezy in our COLD Canadian winters lol)

Seriously annoying lol

Cleaning up the bar so it's actually presentable. I'll be honest here, I don't love cleaning but I'm not dirty. So the level of "clean" will really depend on who's coming. If it was a date with a woman I was trying to impress (or marry for that matter), the bar would be MUCH cleaner than if my buddies were coming over to have a good time.

Typically, my cleaning of the bar includes me with my leaf blower (not joking) and spraying the bar top with some cleaning product that I'll find in the house (I should actually try to find the proper bar top cleaner but I'm not that organized lol).

Truly how I clean... not a bad solution IMHO.. unless YOU REALLY care about cleaning like a friend S.C. LOL

Then, Bronx, OOHHHH, don't get me started on Bronx, my American Bulldog. If he's not directly in my way while I'm rushing to get things done, he's barking (talking for him as he's the NICEST dog that loves ALL dogs & people) to dogs that are passing by. And if not busy doing that, he's usually wanting in or out of the house and he doesn't understand patience... at all.. lol

I'm no detective but....

And to boot, some of my friends think he's the bar's security guard and even got his own sign custom made but let me tell you, he's more interested in the food & people than protecting anything!

Bonk is one of Bronx's nick names :)

For the past couple years, I've used a professionally installed electric heater in the wall and one space heater to keep the bar warm during our brutal Canadian winters but it never worked very well, and I'd get constant complaints as to it being too cold.

This is mostly because I decided to keep the ceiling wide open and free of insulation which causes a lot of heat to escape through it. All the walls are insulated but I LOVE how the ceiling looks so I decided to not disturb that.

The bar's ceiling - my creativities blank canvas.

But our winters are freezing and since I like company, I needed to figure something else out. So, my buddy Adam and I, decided to take a 2 hour trip to pick up a used wood burning stove which I bought used from a very nice couple in rural Ontario, Canada!

The stove is cast iron and must weigh over 400 pounds. After being installed, we even cooked some hotdogs on it which became a story in itself... the long story short is that Bronx, my bulldog, sneakily took off all but one hot dog when I ran into the house to grab plates, all without burning himself:

Seriously - all but one ate without being burned.. Bronx you are talented!

What a difference in heat! The wood burning stove is a night and day difference compared to the electric heat and I can now literally hang out in shorts and be more than comfortable in warmth.

But keeping the bar warm, requires a lot of wood. Our Canadian winters in Tecumseh, Ontario get pretty cold with the coldest on record temperature registering at a bone chilling -15.8C or 3.56F. And guess what, being an Italian that's smart with money (some say cheap lol), I don't like paying for wood, so it won't be uncommon to see me actually chopping wood like a Canadian lumberjack of sorts after I've asked around to find some downed trees that I can pick up for free.

Seriously how I cut wood... If you know any beavers that can get me wood let me know.

So for now, I wish you all well, because I need to get back to my backyard bar as it's a day that ends in "Y", so there has to be someone out there waiting for me even if it's just the bar's custom sign:

The actual Pour Decision sign.

The sign: "Pour Decisions: Bring All You Drink, Drink All you Bring." ... which is never the case because my buddies will drink what they brought and then drink mine lol . (But don't worry, I go raid their fridges too)


At night the bar gets pretty "lit up", both figurately and literally, so if you want to have your own light show like below, visit Amazon.

Get groovy as seen in the Pour Decisions Bar.

As a second bonus, this is how I've cleaned my car for years... and my neighbors can attest to this 😃

How I clean my car.. for real. lol

Ben Anthony profile image Ben Anthony