5 Tips for Opening the Perfect Bar


a building with neon signs

Opening a bar can be a rewarding experience for the right owner who has a passion for people, entertainment, and community. There are several things to consider during the planning and organization stages of a bar. Take a look at these five tips for opening the perfect bar.

Determine the target market

The first step to opening a bar is to determine who your target market is. Instead of trying to appeal to everyone, focus on appealing to a specific audience. Consumers turn to businesses that meet their needs, preferences, and lifestyles. Think about the target market and figure out what to offer them.

Determining the target market will help with choosing a location and creating the bar’s identity. Find a location where the target market is concentrated and that fits with the bar’s concept. When scouting a location, keep in mind health regulations and zoning, visibility and access, and nearby competition.

Leasing versus buying a location comes down to the availability of property and funds. Consider buying an investment property while renting. Loans explains the idea of ‘rentvesting’ as investing in one property while living or working in another. As an online lending service, Loans has an experienced team of lenders who can answer any questions about the property buying process.  

Choose a concept and brand 

When choosing a concept for a bar, make sure to include all the general ideas about the final vision. The brand will be more defined to the identity and mission of the bar. The details of the bar, such as decor, service style, and ambience should all support the brand. Choose a unique name that reflects the brand, and is also memorable.

Remember that the name and brand should complement the demographics of the location. Decide on a firm theme and concept, as making adjustments later on may not be possible. Design a functional layout that allows staff to easily move around tables and seating. Make sure there is enough space behind the bar for displays, bottle coolers, and a full bartending crew.

Hire the right staff 

After getting into a location, start the application process for obtaining a liquor license. Hiring a liquor lawyer can help make sure all bases are covered. Each state requires different permits for bars. In addition to a mandatory liquor license, a food service license is required for any bar serving food. Prior to opening for business, it is required to register with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, so be sure to take care of that as soon as possible.

Hiring the right staff is essential to a successful bar. The bar manager, bartenders, barbacks, servers, and security should all embody the business brand. Their personalities should fit with the atmosphere and theme. Look for staff that are motivated, work well under pressure, and able to overcome challenges.

Find a supplier

Make a list of liquors, beers, and wines that should be stocked in the bar, and look for a supplier that offers the brands and products. Choose a supplier based on brand selection, minimum order requirements, payment terms, delivery dates, and promotional materials.

Consider a regional supplier that can meet the demands for brands and supplies popular in the region. Whether you’re looking for a beverage distributor in Kent, WA or in Australia, be sure to go with a vendor that carries all brands you may need. By opting for such a vendor, you can be sure to keep your bar stocked at all times.


Start marketing while renovating the bar. Once a well-designed logo has been created, start promoting. Build a website that is representative of the brand, set up business profiles on review sites, put promotional signs on the store front, and flyers around the neighborhood. Set up a couple of social media accounts and start posting high-quality photos of cocktails and advertise promotions. Exciting marketing will keep repeat patrons interested and encourage new clients to experience the bar.

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