Many factors go into building and designing a bar. Before you begin, here are some questions you should consider to help make your process smooth and efficient.
1. What is your equipment budget?
The cost of building a bar can range substantially depending on the size, shape, equipment style, custom units, refrigeration, and other accessories. It is essential to first set a budget as this will dictate many things throughout the design process of your new bar. Depending on these factors, the cost of a bar can range anywhere from $20,000 on a small standard bar to upwards of $80,000 on a fully custom bar with a complete long draw glycol beer system. A fully customized bar may come with a higher initial price tag; however, a zero-step design with maximum efficiency can substantially accelerate the return on investment. A more efficient and properly laid out bar allows bartenders to serve more drinks per hour while preparing high-end craft cocktails that increase profitability.
2. What about design and planning?
Yes, the design of the bar is the primary key to success. However, before ordering the equipment, knowing where all the other components are, such as the walk-in cooler, the floor drains, the soda system, etc., play a crucial role in deciding on the placement of the bar equipment. If you need help designing, talk to our wonderful design team at firstname.lastname@example.org to figure out where to start.
3. The bar wall – wood or steel? legs or modular bar die?
When designing your bar, you first have to decide if you will keep the existing bar wall or renovate and start from scratch. If you keep the existing wall, your equipment will be on legs, and if you are renovating and starting from scratch, you have two options.
Option 1: Build a new wall out of wood studs – The challenge with wood studs is that every stud needs to be drilled out to allow for all the utilities, beer, and soda systems. Drilling weakens the structure and becomes more time-consuming for the installation. The other challenge with wood studs is water and liquids. Fluids from pouring and cleaning infiltrate the wood studs and with time cause deterioration and rot.
Option 2: The second option is the Modular Bar Die, constructed of heavy gauge galvanized steel to resist all environmental challenges. The studs are pre-drilled for all utilities, beer, and soda systems, and the equipment comes pre-attached to the wall, making installation a breeze. The other advantage to the Modular Bar Die is that there are no legs on the bartender's side. It's built on a base that contains two panels. The panels include an upper panel that is removable and allows access to the equipment, if need be, and a fixed lower panel, allowing you to seal your floor to the ground. The lower panel keeps trash and debris from falling under the equipment which then keeps the bartender's side cleaner. Want an in-depth look at Modular Bar Die? At Krowne, we've got you covered. Visit HERE for more information.
4. What type of bar will it be?
Now that you have decided on the structure and your budget, the next decision will be what type of bar you want. Craft cocktail heavy, sports bar, wine bar, or maybe a traditional bar, to name a few. The kind of bar will dictate the type of equipment needed to create the drinks for your menu. Does your workstation need a blender? Are you doing frozen drinks? Are you doing more craft cocktails and will need more elixir stations, CO2 units, and glass rinsers? All that needs to be decided on to create the bar. Visit Krowne's configurator Barflex3D HERE for pre-configured workstations as a sample or build your dream bar from scratch.
5. How many bartenders will be working simultaneously in the bar?
Designing and building a bar as efficiently as possible is critical for the success of that bar. Having the bartenders take as few steps as possible to create a drink improves efficiency and profitability. It also allows for a higher level of customer/bartender interactions which enhances the experience for patrons and often results in better tips for bartenders.
6. What size and shape is best for your bar?
An eclectic design looks and sounds great on paper. However, it is essential to know that custom angle fillers could substantially increase the bar's overall cost. It is best to understand your budget before deciding how custom you want to go with the size and shape of your bar. Keep in mind that while Krowne offers many custom angle solutions that have actual functionality, many other manufacturers often only offer standard angle fillers, which can substantially reduce the efficiency of your bar. It is imperative when designing your bar that the size and shape will not impede your menu and efficiency. You always want to maximize space. Save space with your hand and dump sink with Krowne's new hybrid speed sink. For more information, visit HERE
7. When do you plan to open the bar?
Lead times on equipment can vary, so it is vital to plan and order your equipment promptly. Take this into account during the planning stages for your bar equipment, so your equipment will be ready in enough time to be installed and prepared for your opening. The best way to do this is to reach out to a local foodservice equipment dealer to get current lead times on all equipment. They will also help you start the design process and set you up with their preferred equipment manufacturers.
8. Do you intend to serve beer on tap?
There are two ways to accomplish this if you intend to serve beer on tap. For a lower volume application, a direct draw refrigerator is suitable. The kegs are stored in the cooler with the taps right above. On the other hand, a long draw glycol beer system is ideal for high-volume applications, giving you greater flexibility on the number of taps, faucets, and products you can serve. Need more information on beer systems? Our new beer system’s pamphlet has all the details you need!
9. What is the location?
Where you choose to open your bar can be a determining factor in your menu and bar concept. Is it going to be a seasonal area? Is it going to be in a city or maybe in the suburbs? Identifying the site location is crucial to a successful bar. Once your location and cocktail program are created, we can run with this information to design a tailored design perfect for your bar. We also have an entire World Class Bar Ambassadors team that are experts in this field. If interested, check out our page on them HERE, and request free consulting time today!
10. Is your equipment up to code?
In some cases when designing a new space, restaurant owners try and use bar equipment from a previous location. It is critical to make sure that older equipment is up to code. For instance, does your current ice bin have a "built-in cold plate" for your soda system? Unlike many years ago, cold plates must be built into the unit during manufacturing for health code reasons and cannot be added to an existing ice bin. When designing your bar, do the local codes require a three-compartment sink for cleaning glasses even though you have a mechanical washer? Check with your local health inspector and follow all local and state compliances.
Designing your bar can be a daunting task, but with the help of this information, you can rest assured knowing you are building the perfect bar for your application. Between Krowne's World Class Bar Ambassador Team, unique configurator solutions, and in-house design team, they can help you bring your dream bar to life!