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How to refer to the piece of furniture that bars use to store their drinks? The one that is behind the bartender.

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A shelf? A cupboard? Maybe a rack? I don't know of any word for it that is specific to bars. –  user16269 Apr 8 '12 at 9:30
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

I believe that's called the back bar, a generic term referring to the hutch, cabinets, shelves, etc., behind where the bartender stands.

Here's a screen shot from a store that sells bar furniture:

enter image description here

Note: Example used for illustrative purposes only.  I am not trying to promote the website.
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It is a back bar. The term top shelf refers to the most prominently displayed (by position, lighting or both) shelf in a back bar, which can be just a bunch of shelves. I worked in a very dismal bar in college, and was often told to dust something that consisted of cheap Ikea shelves known as the 'back bar'. –  Tim Post Apr 8 '12 at 15:51
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Use "shelves". That's the word that would come naturally to me.

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Shelves have a slightly different meaning - "top shelf" liquor is generally the most expensive. –  Adam Musch Apr 9 '12 at 18:53
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I thought that was called a bar. When you see an "antique bar" sold, it is often the piece that houses the liquor, not the counter where the patrons sit.

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