THE SECRET BAR

CATEGORY: PORT TOWNSEND HOUSE
PHOTO: SECRET BAR TO LEFT OF FIRST FIREPLACE

SECRET BAR IN WALL LEFT OF FIREPLACE: NOTICE LINES OF UPPER DOORS.
LOWER DOORS CONCEALED IN WAINSCOTING

When I put the stairway to the basement inside the original back porch, there was about two feet of space remaining between it and the kitchen wall.  I decided to use it as a bar that would open into the kitchen.  This was not for myself, but for Bob.  I never had drinks unless he was there, and on those occasions it would be nice to have a bar away from where I was cooking.  However, the place where it would open on the kitchen side was right beside the fireplace.  The fireplace was a dominant feature and looked best with bare walls on either side.  I didn’t want to introduce competition, so I decided to make the bar a secret! Yes!  It would be a disappearing bar!  

Using Soss concealed hinges and touch latches, I was actually able to do it.  I was installing wainscoting of double grooved 1 x 4’s salvaged from the ceiling of the demolished east porch.  It was easy to conceal doors in the wainscoting for a storage space below the bar by using the grooves in the boards as edges.  In the wall above, I made a wall-hanging that concealed the doors.

CARLA WULFSBERG, JEAN, JARI AND JERRY PARKER IN FRONT OF THE SECRET BAR

Linnea Hewitt, had given me a little arch topped window frame and some yellow glass so I used them, plus some other colors of glass to have a stained glass window made for the bar.

STAINED GLASS WINDOW IN THE SECRET BAR

After the bar was finished and it really was invisible, I made up a tongue-in-cheek story about it.  I said that the house had originally been owned by a fundamentalist minister who was a strict teetotaler, but whose wife was a secret tippler.  The wife had built this bar when her husband was gone to bible camp, and he lived all the rest of his life in the house, never knowing it was there!  

Later, when the bar was removed to make way for the inglenook, I re-used the window in the parlor bathroom.

STAINED GLASS WINDOW FROM SECRET BAR IN PARLOR BATHROOM