The 6 Important Factors When Designing Your Bar

Opening a commercial bar and brewery has many important steps than choosing your bar’s name, concept or a nice medley of drinks. You must plan the layout not only from the main area of the establishment but also behind the bar, kitchen and storage as well.

  1. It is important the design of your commercial bar reflect the concept created for the bar. Therefore just picking a building and installing a bar and tables will not convey a message of building a relationship in the minds of your customers. Your bar’s concept is your mark in the market. Make sure the concept of your bar is reflected in the design of your bar.
  2. When designing a commercial Bar, consider using the color scheme you have adopted for your Bar’s brand
    • Color is the easiest and most cost effective on creating a mood inside your bar. Lighter colors have a quieting effect while darker colors give you depth and light saturation. Deep colors also create a cozy feeling. Consider the wood colors in the room and build around it with fabric and paint.
    • Use a color wheel to consider opposites and contrasts and to see what color schemes go together and compliment or contrast and create excitement.
    • Use warmer colors where you want people to gather instead of seating.
    • Accent colors are used in contrast to the rest of the plan. Having an accent wall will create enthusiasm.
    • Use neutral colors for seating and ensure the fabric is stain resistant and can be cleaned easily.
  3. How much seating can your Bar fit?
    • What does the local fire department or building code say the maximum seating is?
    • Booths are very important and much desired. Be sure to include at least a few of these.
    • Obviously, you want to seat as many people as possible up to the limit the Fire Department will allow.
    • Consider the “Flow” of the room. Place the tables so that guests can easily navigate the room. If you have seating clear in the back or a patio in the rear of the Bar to ensure that it is easy to get to
    • How many bar stools do you want at the actual bar top? Keep in mind that if you have a 40 foot long bar and the bar stools stretch the length it crowds out walk up guests and makes the sitting guests uncomfortable. Perhaps you want two or three service areas where no one can sit so you can funnel the servers and the walk-up guest to these areas.
    • The layout of the bar is crucial and not to be taken lightly
  4. Storage and Refrigeration of Alcohol, Beverages and Food items.
    • You will need, most likely, draught beer equipment. This equipment keeps the beer cold during its travel from the keg to the tap.
    • Reach in coolers for storing beverages behind the bar. This needs to be thought out purposefully as well. You will need storage for alcohol, bottled beer, wine and other beverages.
    • If you have room a freezer for storing beer and martini glasses is a great addition. Your guests will expect and appreciate ice cold beverages.
    • You will need “dry” storage cabinets for storing other items such as back up glassware, snacks, mixers, bar supplies, beverages such as juices that do not have to be kept cold in refrigerators.
    • You will need a “well” where the bartender works with the house well drinks. This includes an ice bin and a sink to rinse the shakers and strainers. There has to be a place to cut fruit and store bar supplies.
    • A sink for hand washing is important to keep your health inspectors happy. Ensure there is a towel dispenser as well. and coolers to keep beer glasses and martini glasses. In addition, you will need storage for the liquor, the glassware and the places for mixology items such as strainers, bottle openers, wine keys, stirrers, etc. You will need a gun system for dispensing soft drinks and a place for the boxes and the system in the back of house.
  5. Bar’s with a Food Menu
    • Your bar’s food menu deserves attention if you plan to serve “bar food” to increase profits. If you want to have food options that compliment a nice alcohol beverage, then hire a chef to design and implement your food menu. This can be done on contract if you do not want to bear the expense of a permanent chef.
    • If you have decided on simple “bar food” then make your bar or tavern can make high quality great tasting bar dishes. Just make sure the bar’s food menu “fits” your bar’s brand.
    • Design the bar’s food menu around the equipment you have. For example, only add pizza to the food menu if you have the right equipment to produce a quality cooked pizza that will be sought after. Conversely, if you haven’t built the kitchen yet, then design the food menu first and then build the kitchen around that menu keeping in mind that you will change the menu from time to time.
  6. Make serving areas and Bar POS accessible to bartenders and servers
    • How many bartenders and servers you need will depend on how many people you are going serve. In a small place you might only need two.
    • POS systems are so important to keeping your finances accurate. Most modern bars no longer operate with hand-written order tickets. POS systems keep servers and bartenders honest. Serving drinks and food with a paper order ticket system may invite some level of fraud to an establishment if your bar staff is not monitored all the time. Ensure all POS systems are located at easy accessed places.
    • It is important to make bar and seating areas easily accessible to bartenders and waitstaff.
    • It is a good idea to interview actual restaurant or bar staff to about the design.
      1. It is best to assess the flow of the room as you decide how many tables you will have inside. From the front door to the bar and from the front door to the furthest seating area (or patio) you must ensure easy passage by the guests and the servers.
      2. Have a variety of seating types such as high-top tables and booths and tables for 2, 4 and 6.
      3. For the low tables ensure you can put them together to accommodate larger groups.

We hope this information is helpful as you plan to design and build a successful commercial Bar. If you need funding for the design and construction of your commercial bar, the lending partners of Restaurant Tool can help. Contact Us!  

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