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Since the 1920s, the role of a bartender in society has changed drastically. While they were once expected to simply pour some liquor in a glass or open a beer, today’s bartenders go far beyond this role, acting more as a mixologist.
Mixology, or the science of creating unique drinks takes a lot of tools. Plus, thanks to card payments replacing cash, it’s critical to always have a pen on hand. With only two pockets in your pants, if that, this puts a lot of stress on modern bartenders.
Therefore, it is critical that those in the bar profession have a trusty apron they can throw on before each shift.
But this apron doesn’t just need to look nice, it also needs to be functional and come at an affordable cost.
I’ve been in the bar industry for over a decade now, and I know how critical a functional apron is. That’s why I’ve constructed this list of the best aprons for bartenders based on a few different categories to suit all preferences.
Read on to discover the best aprons on the market!
1. Rivertown Co Men’s Apron
Designed for bartenders, baristas, and BBQ pit masters alike, this apron is at the top of our list of bar aprons for many reasons.
First of all, it has that mixologist look that fits in seamlessly with any sort of bar décor. It’s also long and adjustable, allowing you to protect your clothing while providing comfort.
It’s made of durable canvas which is designed to hold up against even the darkest of spills.
The straps are microfiber leather, meaning they won’t snap or break after a few uses. The apron is closed via a sturdy buckle, so no need to worry about retying the strings all night or adding unnecessary wear and tear to your apron.
Additionally, this apron contains a metal loop to hold a cleaning towel, ensuring your bar is always clean and dry.
The bar apron contains a total of 3 pockets and a leather strap that can be used to hold anything from spoons to strainers, or even just a simple bottle opener or dowel.
This design is unique in that the straps on the top half can be removed and this apron can be made into a half apron if needed.
It is also uniquely designed to rest on the shoulders rather than the neck, protecting bartenders from neck pain that can come with holding a heavy apron all night.
The only downside is that this apron only comes in one size, but it is a size that fits most people size M to XXL.
2. AFUN Chef Apron
Our runner-up is this chef apron from AFUN which has all the accessories needed to serve as an excellent bar apron.
Made from 100% cotton canvas, this apron will hold up against even the busiest nights. The straps have leather touches and are finished with metal buckles and loops to provide durability.
It only comes in a single size, but the cross-back straps are adjustable to any size M-XXL. There is a leather detail that falls in the middle of the back, ensuring the pressure of wearing the apron is kept off the neck.
This apron has 3 pockets, which, while not specifically designed for bar tools, can hold a wide variety of the items you need to use all night long. The two pockets in the middle of the apron are a uniform size, with a smaller pocket up top.
One of the unique features of this apron is that it comes in many colors, making it easy to match any décor or theme you have in mind for your bar.
While it would be nice if the pockets were a little more suited for barware like the Rivertown Apron, this is still a decent choice, and it is slightly less expensive than our first pick.
3. Carrotez Chef Apron
The Carrotez Chef Apron is another excellent choice when looking for an apron for bartenders. Made from a polyester and cotton blend, the apron is durable and will keep your clothes protected as you work. It comes at a mid-range price point.
This apron is adjustable, fitting sizes M-XXL, with cross-back straps to keep this apron situated on your shoulders rather than your neck. The straps are extra-long and close with tying for an authentic rustic look.
The top straps can be unhooked easily, and the apron folded over into a half apron for a variety of looks. This apron also comes in multiple colors, making it a breeze to match your bar décor or vary your look for events.
The Carrotez apron has three pockets, two large ones, and a smaller top one. While none of these pockets are specifically designed for barware, they can easily hold all of your tools for the night, as well as a pen and notepad when needed.
Whether you are working a busy night in the cocktail lounge, or making some BBQ, this apron protects your clothes from anything you might spill.
And if you do spill, one of our favorite features of this apron is that it can be put in the washing machine when you get home—so you can easily wear it again tomorrow!
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4. No-Tie Gray Apron
If you are looking for a more unique style for your bar apron, look no further than this handmade no-tie gray apron.
It is made from cotton with leather patches and straps for a truly rustic vibe. This apron comes at a medium price point but is one of the best-quality aprons on the list.
Rather than a tie closure, this apron has a clasp and a ring for easy closure. It also contains a split leg, making it one of the easiest aprons on the list to walk in no matter what your size.
Even with the split leg, this apron provides excellent coverage for your legs, keeping your clothes free from spillage. If you do happen to spill, this apron is machine washable after the metal parts have been detached.
There are three pockets, one on each side as well as one near the top. The top pocket has dividers, making it an easy place to slip pens or other small objects. Towels and notepads can easily be tucked into the other two pockets on the apron.
Take note that this apron is made of untreated fabric, which means marks may stay on the surface. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just be ready for your apron to show a little character!
5. Carhartt Men’s Firm Duck Apron
Next on our list is the Carhartt Men’s Firm Duck Apron which is made from 100% cotton. This apron comes in two colors, either black or tan brown.
The Carhartt apron closes with ties and has the crisscross back to keep the weight of the apron off your neck. It’s on the pricier side of the aprons we recommend but has the most pockets of all the aprons on this list!
With a grand total of nine pockets, one of which is zippered, you can truly store everything in this apron. Some of the pockets are layered, making it easy to store pens, spoons, strainers, or anything else you may need to have on hand.
This apron is heavy-duty but isn’t as adjustable as other aprons on the list. It will still protect your clothes as you mix, but the amount of your clothes it protects will vary based on your height and weight. This apron closes via a tie in the back.
Carhartt is a well-known brand, and its apron is just as durable as its other products. You won’t regret wearing this apron as you serve patrons your creative cocktails.
6. Lindsey Street Leather Apron
For those looking for a bar apron that is truly rustic, there is no better apron than the Lindsey Street Leather Apron.
This apron is made from 100% leather and is sure to protect you from even the biggest spills. While it doesn’t cover as much of your body as other aprons on this list, it does provide decent front coverage and comes down to about knee length depending on your height.
It is available in a few different colors and has several front pockets. Slip your phone or a notepad in the top one, with space for bar tools and a bottle opener in the bottom pockets. This apron closes with a buckle on the side, so no need to worry about pesky ties.
The only thing we don’t like about this apron is that it does go around the neck, this can put pressure on your neck after a long shift, rather than balancing it on the shoulder as other aprons on this list do.
Despite that fact, this is one of the best bar aprons, especially if you want something which looks a little more high-end. It is also the most expensive bar apron on our list.
7. Asaya Chef, BBQ, and Work Apron
Whether you need to hold one bar tool or many, the Asaya apron is designed with the busy bartender in mind.
This bar apron has some of the biggest pockets we’ve seen on any bar apron and has loops for storing a bar towel, bottle opener, and more. There are 5 large pockets and 4 tool loops.
The Asaya apron comes in many colors and is made of high-quality cotton canvas. Its straps close via a buckle in the back, so no need to mess with typing strings. The straps cross in the back, keeping all the pressure off your neck, no matter how long your workday may be.
Not to mention that this is one of the more budget-friendly aprons on our list, so you won’t have to break the bank to order these. The apron is a universal size and will be able to fit most people between sizes M and XXL.
The coolest part about this apron is that it comes with a towel and a bottle opener, so if you are new to the bar business, these tools are the perfect place to begin!
8. ApronMen-Leather and Canvas Apron
For those who don’t want to go with the full leather option previously mentioned, the ApronMen apron is an excellent combination of canvas aprons but with leather straps to keep the wearer comfortable.
This apron comes in two colors, black or brown, and closes with a clip on the side. While it doesn’t have the cross back, it does have two straps that converge to a single strap in the middle to keep the weight off your neck as you work.
The ApronMen only has two pockets, but it does have a loop for holding your bar towel. The two pockets are large and ideal for fitting everything from pens to notepads, or a bottle opener.
This apron comes at a mid-range price point, and comes in 3 different sizes, making it easy to get your perfect fit. This is also the only apron on the list to offer a small sizing option for those who don’t fit into a medium.
What To Look For In A Bartender Apron
Of course, the aprons we mentioned on this list aren’t the only ones available. As you shop around for bartender aprons elsewhere, ensure you look for the following qualities.
First and foremost, you want an apron that will last you a long time, especially if you are investing money into one. Look for aprons that are durable and can be washed easily if there is a spill.
The most durable aprons are usually made from cotton canvas or leather, or a mix of the two. They should be thick, with straps that buckle rather than tie as a tie can wear down the apron strings.
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Bartenders wear their aprons for their entire shift, which can last 8 hours or more. As a result, it is essential to select an apron that will be comfortable for these long shifts.
Most quality bar aprons have a hook, rather than a tie to allow the wearer to breathe. Additionally, the straps should cross in the back to keep the pressure off the neck of the bartender, otherwise, they may find themselves unable to work properly due to neck pain.
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Don’t forget that style is also an important aspect of a bar apron.
Bars often have themes that need to be matched and the bartender should feel proud wearing their bar apron. Spend time choosing a style that you will enjoy wearing and that will also look good in your place of employment.
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Why is it important to have a quality bartender apron?
A quality bartender apron is important to protect your clothes from stains and spills which happen during the process of working as a bartender.
An apron of inferior quality won’t provide protection, and it can cause strain on your neck or shoulders if the weight isn’t distributed properly.
Why do bartenders wear aprons?
Bartenders wear aprons to protect their clothes as they work.
They also need to carry a lot of things with them during their shift, such as lighters and bottle openers, and pants pockets aren’t sufficient for holding all the items they need to use during their shift.
Do bartenders wear aprons?
While it isn’t a requirement for bartenders to wear aprons, most choose to because of their convenience.
It is very rare to see a bartender not wearing some sort of protective apron.
Overall, we hope you now have an idea of the perfect bartender apron for your bar.