How to Build a Bar Lift Gate:
A lift gate or “flapper” door allows bartender access behind the bar without loosing valuable bar top space. It also keeps unwanted patrons from cluttering up the bartending area. The membership site and builder’s gallery area includes design ideas for flip-up and drop down style gates.
Building a flapper door for your bar.
Adding a lift gate allows you to have a fully enclosed bartender area. It also reclaims a two foot wide section of bar and prevents patrons from coming behind the bar easily. The gate is typically placed at the end of a bar section to connect to the side or back wall. In cities and other municipalities, it is advisable to check local fire codes to be sure that a flapper door is allowed.
The gate itself consists of a spring-loaded recessed door latch panel and the lift gate panels itself, attached with a heavy piano hinge like this: 2″ wide Stainless Steel Piano Hinge. Lifting the gate from below causes the door to depress the latch panel until it reaches the full height at which point the latch catches and hold the lift gate panel up.
To lower the lift gate, the bartender would lift slightly on the gate panel while also depressing the latch panel allowing the gate to drop into the position shown in the photo. Extra attention to detail is required to match up cove cut arm rail.
Modifications to these plans is almost endless. Occasionally members ask for new features, so we respond to their needs by providing functional add-on designs. Our active Builder’s Forum includes the detailed instructions for building a fully functional flapper door for your bar.
A different flapper…
This is a 1920’s “flapper” which coincidentally has absolutely nothing to do with a flapper door…except that back in the day a flapper could be found hanging on the flapper door of the local tavern. I digress.
This is not a difficult project, but since all bar tops are slightly different, you’ll have to use a little horse sense to come up with a solution using our recommended base design configuration.