How to Build a Pirate Bar

If you're keen to have your own pirate bar in the backyard, etc., for a special occasion (like celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day!) or just any old pirate's party, here is how to put one together.


  • Captain's blood cocktail:
  • 2 parts captain Morgan's rum
  • 1/2 part white rum
  • 1/2 part blue sapphire gin
  • 1 part tropical fruit juice


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    Find a suitable location. Great choices include a garden shed, someone else's shed that you've commandeered (a very pirate thing to do) or the holy grail of all pirate bar locations, a beach hut with the wide ocean before you all.
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    Create the bar surface. The best thing for this is to use an old door. Screw one end to the side wall, leaving space for the barman behind it, and add two legs to the other end for support. For the front of the bar, nail some wood on or drape nets and cloth, anything to hide the drink stashed underneath the bar.
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    Add some decor. Suitable items for decorative effect include old maps, compasses, paintings of skulls or fake skull sculptures, lobster pots, fishing nets, lanterns and old bottles. Don't overdo it; just make it look old, a little shabby and a lot "pirate kind".
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    Find a decent place for your booze (rum, beer, rum, rum, rum and more rum). Under the bar is fine if your bar has a strong lock on the door, otherwise a good stash under the floor boards works well. Or, try a half barrel with skull and crossbones painted on the side and filled with ice (and booze).
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    Add the right lights. Lighting is important at night. Avoid using too many candles, as wooden sheds, rum and candles might be a rather explosive mix; even if not, the wind won't do you any favors if you're outdoors.
    Cheap 'touch lights' are handy; you can stick them to the ceiling above the bar and anywhere else needed. Or just use garden, outdoor or camping lights of any sort. If you get chrome or silver colored lights, consider painting them brown to fit in with the rustic theme (after all, anything that glows like metal could be a target for the treasure chest).
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    Purchase some kind of effective weapon (broom handle, paintball gun, plastic pirate's cutlass, etc.) in case someone gets a bit rowdy. Don't actually hurt anyone with it – simply use it for play-acting "pirate annoyance". Hang it up somewhere for all to see, with a warning about what happens to drunken pirates.
    • If you're really creative, build a plank over a kid's paddling pool. Then horse around when anyone misbehaves (and obviously, if anyone falls head first into it and stays there, pull them out as drunk people can drown very easily).
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    Hire a local actor to play a drunken pirate for entertainment. (Or if you're on a budget, assume that someone will provide this service for free as the night moves on!)
    • A responsible pirate bar operator prevents all drunken pirates from sailing or driving in an inebriated state. Indeed, a responsible pirate bar owner recognizes anyone getting too drunk to drink, walk, talk or breathe and stops them, pointing them in the direction of the nearest bunk bed.
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    Maybe serve nuts, but no real food. After all, it's a bar not a cafe.
    • Serve Captain's blood cocktail. The ingredients are listed above. Simply mix them all together in a cocktail shaker, pour and serve. Garnish with something pirate like a few plastic model swords if liked.


  • Get a decent sign to direct invitees to the pirate bar, possibly use the word 'tavern' instead of bar.
  • Get some music, nothing too popular, otherwise you'll be a laughingstock in the pirate world. Make sure it has spirit to it and is likely to start a jig or a pirate's brawl. Sea shanties are also fun, just be sure to print out the words or transfer them onto the karaoke machine.

Things You'll Need

  • Wood
  • Paint
  • Nets
  • Booze
  • Lights (optional)
  • Captain's blood cocktail (listed in food ingredients)(very strong stuff!)

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