The Inland Dock Bar is a little private oasis 145 miles inland from the Atlantic. It’s an outdoor bar, sometimes grille, gathering space, music venue, and movie theater.
And you really have to KNOW someone to get in. It’s not a real operating public bar – let’s make that clear. It’s our joint, at home, where we host events for friends and family, and where we crash alone in the solitude after a long week.
It’s been the site of concerts, graduation events, birthdays, and celebrations. And it’s been where we’ve gathered to get through life’s tougher moments as well.
The bar started out as, literally, a bar on a patio we had poured when we finished the screened porch in 2003. We built a 6’x3′ bar table next to our porch mainly to lean against if we had a beer outside or were grilling a burger. That was it. There were no grand plans for a full-blown operating home bar and grille!! But after we added a few stools and a pop-up canopy over it, we noticed we started using it more – it afforded us overhead cover as well as space to move and circulate. A fierce thunder and hailstorm took care of that, shredding the tent and destroying the first iteration of the Bar – and the roof of our home (you can see the new shingles stacked on the roof in the photo on the left).
That sort of got us thinking and we hatched plans for the structure that would permanently cover the bar. The bar roof was added in 2015. One thing led to another and we gradually expanded. We added a back bar area, paneled walls, a TV, a rolling cooler. In 2016, we expanded the Koi pond. It became an addiction – and also a much better home away from home at home.
In 2017 we built the outdoor kitchen – it may be worth adding, when I say “we built” it, I literally mean WE built it – all – by hand (‘cept for about half of the concrete patio area…every last damned brick, stone, board, and nail). And we’re pretty proud of that. It made it MUCH more affordable and much easier to customize – also easier to have heat exhaustion or tremendous back pain. And, it allowed this to become a years long hobby and not a project to must rush to get done before, let’s say, PROM?? (I’m looking at YOU, Koi Pond).
2018 and 2019, things stayed pretty much the same. We hosted some parties, including a big graduation bash featuring the very talented Jonathan Plevyak, and a much smaller one for our College COVID grad, Ali
During COVID-19 in the winter of 2020, the IDB was converted to a tented, outdoor open-air “Social Distancing Lounge” so we could still eek out ways to stay sane and see friends – if even from a few meters away under a heater in the snow. We also expanded the patio area and enclosed the back bar. A few other upgrades came by way of some better bar/equipment storage and kitchen upgrades, and in early 2021, a dual-tap kegerator!
Well, COVID19 seems (or seemed? who knows?) to be finally abating. And accordingly, we’re looking ahead to brighter days.
We’re already planning some great events you can check out here. And we have ideas for some additional stuff too. Check back frequently and we’ll keep ya looped in!