The short answer is: probably.
Does the average adult need a bar cart? Do I need a bar cart? This is a question I spent four months mulling over as I slowly decorated my now-very-handsome apartment. (Never mind asking whether I am an average adult.) On the one hand, there are other places you can keep your bottles of alcohol, such as the cupboard, or perhaps a side table. A bar cart can come off as a bit showy, like, look at me, someone who has definitely had sex, and definitely knows how to make at least one cocktail without spilling shit all over myself.
On the other hand, a bar cart makes you look like a verified sex-haver who knows how to stir up a boulevardier for his date. Cocktails and Chill is the grown-up version of Netflix and Chill, after all. And it will make you feel a little more prepared the next time you have friends over at the last minute: sure, you can offer them a Fridge Beer™, but you can also just sort of gesture at your collection of alcohol and say “help yourself.” Or, one better: “Want me to make us all a round of Manhattans?” The latter is, I believe, what some people call a “power move.”
Here’s the catch: as with most home décor items (see also: rugs), the vast majority of bar carts are either ugly, or too expensive, or so large you can only assume they were modeled after Gatsby’s parlor. Finding the right one for you can take some time. But once you do, you’ll realize that it’s an essential item for your home not because of its necessity, but because of how civilized it makes you feel. And it’s also a good excuse to go buy a few nice bottles of booze to add to your collection.
Once you’ve been sold on the Bar Cart Lifestyle, there are a few directions you can go in. None of these directions include Ikea—sorry, but the Ikea bar cart is so ubiquitous and so recognizable that purchasing it means you’re not purchasing a bar cart, you’re purchasing an IKEA BAR CART. Plus it looks cheap.
My personal issue with bar cart shopping was that I only had a tiny, very specific space for said cart. That ruled out all the below options. But I found the perfect narrow cart at everyone’s favorite place to decorate a college dorm room, and I’ve never looked back. It takes up barely any space, is super minimalist (read: doesn’t look like you bought it at Urban), and can hold all the bottles I own so far. At some point I may need to upgrade, but this makes for the ideal starter set.
The Modern Nordic-Inspired Option
….And if I ever do upgrade, I’ll probably go into credit card debt for this still-kinda-minimalist-but-much-bigger option from ABC home. It’s still nice and narrow, but a little more adult, and a little more nordic. With more space, the top shelf can also double as a serving area.
The Vintage-But-Not-Crappy Option
If you’re into trolling second-hand stores and Etsy for anything and everything, set your eyes on a refurbished Cosco utility cart: they come in extremely pleasing primary colors, usually have three shelves (more storage!), and will last you forever.
The Affordable Mid-Century Option
Oh, you like mid-century furniture? Name three of their chairs. Just kidding! Mid-century furniture is very popular, and very easy to like, and West Elm knows this. Their Mid-Century Bar Cart hits all the spots: it’s sleek and made from beautiful smooth walnut with just a touch of gold.