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Motion Control Engineering & Manufacturing Resources

What Are Restaurant/Bar Countertop Hinges? How Do They Work?

What Are Restaurant/Bar Countertop Hinges? How Do They Work?

Posted by Weber Knapp on May 2, 2022 8:51:00 AM

bar counter top hinges - bar scene in restaurant

Lift assists for bar and countertop openings are essential features in modern taverns, kitchens, and restaurants. Beyond just looking cool, they have many functional purposes.

However, they can also be a hindrance and a danger, especially if asked to hold up a counter made of quartz or another heavy material. 

Fortunately, no job is too big for counterbalancing technology. Bar countertop hinges save the day for interior (and exterior) designers in several industries.

But how exactly does this unique motion control technology work?

What Are Bar Countertop Hinges? 

Countertop pass-through hinges make it easier to open moving countertops in:

  • Bars
  • Restaurants
  • Kitchens

These bar flap hinges are designed to offset weight using heavy-duty springs and other mechanisms. The hinge pushes the countertop open using little effort on the user's end, regardless of how heavy it is. For example, stone, granite, and quartz countertops usually require a force of between 85 lbs. and 160 lbs -- yet all can be counterbalanced with the right equipment (and physics).

Heavy countertops bring up safety concerns, as they can degrade the support mechanism over time and even hurt users who drop the gate. However, your motion control engineer can design a countertop pass-through hinge to handle weight capacities up to hundreds of pounds. The level of support you need will depend on your gate's size and material -- counterbalances for granite countertops will have more work to do than one attached to a maple countertop.

Benefits of Bar Countertop Hinges: 

Counterbalance lift hinges have many applications and benefits, including new opportunities for the hospitality industry.


Even the lightest lift-up countertop weighs dozens of pounds. This may be too heavy for some users, especially tired or frail employees

Consequently, someone may drop the countertop, damaging the counter or injuring the user. Fortunately, the right hinge design makes even the heaviest countertops feel as light as a feather, reducing the risk of damage and injury.

Interested in learning more about how bar counter hinges can also work in the hospitality industry? Download our free resource below: 
hospitality resource page


A pass-through is a necessary waste of space in your restaurant bar counter design. And we bet your staff often keeps the gate up (perhaps with some ramshackle DIY contraption) to minimize the hassle.

But what if your bar flap could easily and safely be closed when not in use? This flexibility would allow for more counter space and maximize your square footage.

More Design Options 

Counterbalanced countertop technology makes it possible to lift heavier materials. This means that you can use more luxurious options such as granite and quartz, which look good but are seriously heavy.

Improved Productivity 

Heavy lift-up countertops can be an inconvenience for restaurant and bar servers. They make it difficult to get through the counter, and the seconds spent opening and closing them add up to hours of wasted time over the course of a week. 

They may also place strain on exhausted employees, making them less productive and even resulting in extended time off and insurance claims down the road.

A hinged countertop is easy to use. It makes it easier to access both sides of the counter, saving the employees precious time and effort.

A Wide Range of Applications: 

Counterbalance lift assistance has applications in virtually anything that involves a counter or cover. Bar flap hinges and kitchen pass-through countertop hinges ease traffic in busy restaurants and create more space. 

This technology also has many potential uses as establishments further adapt their seating arrangements with COVID-19 still fresh in everyone’s minds. More and more members of the hospitality and entertainment industry are building outdoor seating areas, and this technology can help save space on seats, tables, and other covers.

Best of All:

Lift assists for bar and countertop openings should always include a heavy-duty hinge. They make using lift-up countertops easy, keep users safe, and boost employee productivity.  

Now all you need is a little engineering. To calculate the necessary lid torque to counterbalance your next lift gate design, use the free tool below:

Lift gate assistant lid calculator

Topics: Ergonomics, Motion Control, Hinge, Lid Support, Food Industry, kitchen