In Alex Papachristidis's ever so elegant dining room at the Kips Bay Showhouse last week, I was struck by his use of one of a pair of elaborately carved 18th century consoles doing double duty as a bar. As Quintessence Blog noted Alex had "created a chic mise-en-scéne!"
That bar got me thinking about the bar cart, which goes all the way back to the Victorian era where they were originally used as tea trolleys. The tea trolley was transformed into the bar cart, after the repeal of prohibition in 1933, when people were able to return to enjoying their cocktails out in the open. By the 1950s and 1960s, with help from the glamour of Hollywood movies the bar cart became the must-have accessory for at home entertaining, wheeling the well-stocked cart from room to patio or poolside.
After disappearing in the '70s, the bar cart is once again with us, this time courtesy of the nostalgically 1950s/1960s "Mad Men" TV series. With renewed interest in artisanal mixed cocktails, premium and limited edition scotch, bourbon, gin and cognacs in shimmering designer bottles, the bar cart has become an artfully creative way to show off the goods.