Opening a Bar?

Guide to the first things you need to do.

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Catch up

So last week we went through important points to consider before opening a bar. If you missed it you can Read Here. We already established that you have time, money and an idea. Plus you must be willing to put in some hard work.

Opening bar
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So You want to Open a Bar.

At this point you want to start brainstorming and get ideas. Look into how much your ideas are going to cost. It doesn’t matter how crazy your ideas are as long as you have the funds to support it. So lets have a look a some things you should look into before you move to the planning stage.

What type and what process

What type of bar do you want to open. There are plenty to choose from and this could dramatically change your dream.

Classic bar – just a normal corner bar with some food and maybe some live music

A nightclub – 10pm – 4am and loud music is more your thing.

Cocktail bar or beach bar – Something more chill and relaxed or different

You need to establish the type of club before you can start on your concept.

Check here to see the different types of bars and our terminology of them.

First big Question is are you going to:

Buy an already established bar?

Remodel an existing venue?

Build an entirely new one?

If you are buying an established bar it might change your general dream about the bar, especially if it’s making money. You don’t want to mess with a winning formula too much. You can add your touches, but be careful to not change it dramatically.

Remodel can be great and sometimes cheaper, but once again it might not match your dream.

When buying/leasing an existing bar or club remember to find out the history. What is it like? What do people think about it? Does it have any bad stigma? Also find out if the clients are friends of the owners. They might leave once you take over.

If there have been several bars and they have failed you shouldn’t probably get into it. Plus people get used to the fact it’s always bad and just assume the new one is as well.

Starting from scratch is a great idea, but can cost hell of a lot, but you will be able to build your dream. Another important thing to consider is location. We will get more into this later.

Planning bar
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What is the Concept

We talked about your dream in the last post, now we need to figure out if your dream, your concept and the idea all works together. 

Concept is just your vision of what you want the place to look like and feel like.

First – figure out your concept what are you going to do, what theme are you going to use, what is going to make you stand out.

Example – Death metal club which everything is black. Ok, not the best example, but it works to prove my next point.

Is there a market

Does your town want, need or have a death metal bar. How big is the market? Is it just you who likes death metal and would like to hang out there?

Do you think more death metal fans will come out of hiding just because there is a death metal bar. No….they are not going to come out of hiding, if they are hiding it is probably because they are not there.

This is what you need to think of when deciding on your concept.

There are plenty of very successful death metal bars. If the market is there the concept gets the thumbs up.

So figure out your concept by,

Understanding your market, what do people like doing in your town, what is their age group, is there a niche market that is growing.

Competition, If you are opening a place the same as the competition because you had a bad night there once forget about opening a bar now. Trying to take on a pre-existing bar with the same concept is a recipe for disaster plus a revenge business is just a bad start.

Figure out what your competition is doing and MAINLY –what people like about them.

Example:  cheap drinks, atmosphere, music, Dj’s, instagramworthy.

Planning for plan
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Prepare to write the Plan

So you should now know the type of bar you’re going to have.

Your know / understand your market.

You know / have checked out your competition

You know what’s working / wanted

You should also understand what might be needed.

So you should have enough to start working on your concept. Remember your concept can be as wild as you want it to, but the next step the business plan might change your concept a bit.


Figuring out your concept / Dream COMING SOON follow BarAdvisorHQ

Get ready for your business plan COMING SOON follow BarAdvisorHQ

Jason Masson

Jason Masson

22 just out of college and love to find new and interesting drinking spots. My favourite bar is the next one I visit.

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