English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

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

share|improve this question
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
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.
share|improve this answer
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

Use "shelves". That's the word that would come naturally to me.

share|improve this answer
Shelves have a slightly different meaning - "top shelf" liquor is generally the most expensive. – Adam Musch Apr 9 '12 at 18:53

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.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.