Deciding which type of bar to open

How to Open a Bar

Each bar is unique, and each one needs its equipment. The formula is set by you, the owner, and your vision. It’s also influenced by the clients you attract.

There are many kinds of bars. It’s best to start with the basics. Bars usually have a full liquor license to sell alcohol, wine, and beer. Pubs, historically a public place for social drinking, may also have full liquor licenses. However, pubs typically focus on beer, ales, ciders, and light meals. The tavern, derived from the Roman taberna, was originally a roadside pub. It is now somewhat synonymous with pubs but can still be found in rural bars.

The foodservice equipment and bar equipment you will need depend on the type and size of the bar, as well as the extent of your food and drink menus. World of Beer, Tampa, Fla., has 1,000 sq. A 1,000 sq. ft. walk-in beer cooler holds draft kegs. There is also a beer dispensing machine that offers 50 drafts. Additional coolers are located behind the bar and hold 500 cans and bottled beers. Flying Monkeys, Key West, Fla., is known for its frozen drinks. The bar has a wall full of frozen drink machines.

Other equipment options will also be affected by the type of bar that you open. A mug freezer may be necessary if beer is your main focus. You might choose a different glass washing machine if you intend to sell wine. Your food menu will dictate the type of equipment and kitchen you need. The Central Restaurant Product’s Product Advisors can help you make the right equipment choices. There are many types of bars, each with its distinctive characteristics.

Different types of bars

  • Beer hall. Long communal tables with liter mugs for draft beer, soft pretzels and charcuterie plates.
  • Brewpub. Brewing equipment is required, along with a draft beer system, coolers, and a kitchen to prepare pub grub.
  • Cocktail lounge. These bars can be found in hotels, restaurants, and airports. They are well-known for their mixologists and signature cocktails. Lux spirits can also be freestanding. Dry martinis are shaken, not stirred. You’ll also need some upscale glasses and maybe one or two unique glasses for signature drinks. Ask your Product Consultant to send you free samples of glassware so that you can determine which one works best. You’ll likely have more stemware at your place than at a sports bar, so a commercial glasswasher with a gentle cycle will be necessary to clean them. A hot water washer may be necessary to remove lipstick and soil more easily.
  • Hotel bar. Some hotels may have a lobby or cocktail lounge. Hotels can also cater events that require portable bars or bar equipment.
  • Karaoke bar. Sound equipment with intuitive karaoke software is a must. The kitchen will likely play a major role in attracting people and keeping them entertained.
  • Music bar. Providing live music multiple nights a week. Examples include piano bars (think Rick’s Cafe, “Casablanca”) and blues bars. Your kitchen is important in this instance, as it will draw people in whether you have a full-course menu or smaller plates such as tapas. A great bar and music will keep people returning for more, resulting in higher average spending.
  • Nightclub. These large venues often have a dance floor and a great sound system. Some venues have live music, while others have a DJ. One or more bars will serve patrons, and service bars handle table service orders. The Avalon Hollywood in Los Angeles and Tao and Omnia in Las Vegas are two of the most popular venues. They offer live entertainment, multimedia light show, and VIP rooms for private dining and entertaining. They can be expensive to build and generate $25,000 to $80,000 per night, according to On average, 3,000 sq. A club of 3,000 sq. feet can make anywhere from $1500 to $10,000 per night, depending on the location and its concept.
  • Sports bar. These places require plenty of beer storage and large-screen televisions so everyone can see one. Cable or satellite service, as well as subscriptions to sports networks, are required. You will need cable or satellite service and subscriptions to sports networks. You may have a high volume of customers on game days. So make sure you invest in systems that can handle your highest capacity. It would help if you also considered how you could keep your customers entertained even when there are no games. You can fill your seats with games such as darts, foosball, or billiards.
  • Wine bar. While you won’t require as much fabrication as a full bar, you will need more storage to store your wine bottles. A compact kitchen is also possible for small plates. A wine dispensing system that keeps wines fresh after they are opened is something you might consider. Wine bars require skilled staff. CRP’s Definitive guide to wine service explains how to deliver a premium wine experience.


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