Last week, L.A. at Home shared the story of the Ruin and how owners Paul Goff and Tony Angelotti turned a falling-down stone house near Joshua Tree National Park into an enchanting outdoor room for parties under the stars.
This week, we asked Goff to share the how-to behind the Ruin's bottle bar. Lighted at night, the piece is its own bit of desert enchantment.
To build the bar, the couple called in a pro, neighbor Tony Bayevich, who had inset bottles in the walls of Pappy & Harriet's Pioneertown Palace and nearby Rimrock Ranch Cabins. Goff's rundown of their process:
Step 1: Build a frame. Old gas station window frames provided structure for the Ruin's bar. Angelotti took two frames of the same size and had them welded together with pieces of rebar that were cut to the length of a wine bottle. He also had rebar welded to the bottom, so the bar had a metal anchor to set into a concrete footing.
Step 2: Pour the footing. The bar frame's bottom rebar was set in concrete that was 12 inches deep. This keeps the bar from getting knocked over.
Step 3: Stack the bottles. The bottles were set in the frame using mortar mix. It was essentially a two-day process, with a lot of cleaning and wiping after each layer of bottles was set, Goff said.
Step 4: Cap it off. After the mortar dried for a day, flagstone went on top, forming the counter.