Designing a cocktail bar is a comprehensive job. It is not only designing an interior of the job. It is designing the business itself. Many details must be considered equally. To create a beautiful cocktail bar can catch interest for the first look but to make it work, you need to be filling the under of design, making it support in every way. Beauty can become usual later, the interior with business only can create a long living cocktail bar.
First of all, you need to know that, even if you are the owner of the business, there is a lot to think about and a lot to consider that requires experience of the interior designer. Even if it seems like it is only a decoration and you can pick whatever you like and gather them together, interior design service includes more than you think. So it is better to share your dreams and ideas with the professional clearly after you lose more time and more money. This way you will see more of what will fit your business, and you won’t be bothered with the technical problems.
The concept of the bar is where everything starts. Well thought concept can create a big difference. It is important to decide on a concept which would gather business and design under the same roof. Some questions must be thought and answered clearly.
Where is the location?
Location of the cocktail bar, it’s surroundings, neighborhood and access are determining the first milestones of the business. Before picking a place, you need to consider the outer factors that would affect your business. Is this place is easily reachable? The place where people do celebrations, spend mostly time in evenings must be located in an easily reachable and safe location. Customers must be carefree of there questions when they are spending time in your cocktail bar.
The second question is “What is around?” Are you surrounded by your competitors or you are the only in that area? This is also an important question. People have routines. You need to break the chain in that area, and you need to involve yourself. Surrounding by your competitors is not always a bad thing. It even has positive parts. If you are in this condition, it means that you are in the area of bars. First of all, the positive part is you can also catch customers from the street that are visiting that area. But as we said before people have habits. In order to be different, first of all as a customer you need to experience, and see from their eyes. When you try all your competitors as a costumer and see what is missing or what is so much successful in those bars, you would be seeing which kind of bar is missing at that area. You need to be different, in order to be chosen. This is the only way to hang on.
If you are on a neighborhood where you will be unique it is also a risk. It means people are not coming to that neighbor to go bars. So you need to reconsider that area. Is that neighborhood is convenient for this kind of consumption? You need to know that you must be really different to make people come to you. You will be needing good advertising strategy to gather the people to that area. Moreover, if you can achieve this, you will double your success, and you can be sure that in less time it is possible to see your competitor, searching for a place nearby.
The location is not always about the survival of the business but also the milestone of the concept. It will determine the audience that is going to visit your place. If you are located in a place nearby university, then it means that your target is mostly students. In this condition, you won’t be successful if you are planning to sell expensive cocktails. You need to find yourself a permanent place in that area, be the habit of people, be preferred.
Whom do you serve?
So here comes the question “To whom you are serving?” Even this questions must come before the location. “Who is your target?” Which age range are you expecting to host in your bar? This must be your starting point. You cannot expect to serve over 50 and teenagers in the same bar. The expectations of the age ranges are changing. The first thing you must consider is this. If you are 50, which kind of bar would you like to visit. What would you like to see on the menu? Which kind of ambiance would you like to experience? What kind of service are you expecting to receive? Same for the other age ranges. The answer of these questions will help you build your menu and concept, direct you for picking the best location for your bar.
What do you serve?
The other important question is what people are coming to consume in your bar. Maybe you are saying, of course, it is a cocktail bar, to drink but it is not that much easy. Drinks can be more specific on the menu. Of course, you can create a unique cocktail menu, but it is also important how you serve it and with which kind of food.
The first question you need to ask yourself is the working hours? Are you going to open this bar only for the night? Or is it going to work also in the daytime? You need to design if your bar is a place only for nights. Or is this a place which serves a nice dinner and then turns out to be more like a club. These decisions will help you organize your interior better. Because except your bar and the seating for the customers, you need to think about the kitchen for the serving and the capacity of your storage.
If you provide a full-time service from the breakfast till late night, so you will be separating quite a place for kitchen, and a storage. In this case, not only perfect kitchen will be enough kitchen is the starting point of the service circulation. If it is not completely your concept, it is always better to hide from the sight of your costumer. If you have enough place, you can consider having a kitchen downstairs and use the monte-charge lift that is connecting directly to the bar. This way waitress can easily pick up the service from the bar so you will provide faster and more hygienic service.
The least considered parts for the commercial bar design are the parts that are not visible. Storage is one of the most important and the least cared part of the bar. Especially if you are promising your costumers a full menu, you need to know that your kitchen is a cooking place, you cannot cut from it to build a storage. Your storage must be close to the kitchen but separated from it for sure.
If you ask these questions, with the answers, you will be more clear of which kind of business you are going to create. Later that, after the organization has made, the details must be considered. Now you know what kind of business you want. However, now the biggest questions come: HOW? WHY? WHAT?
WHY? WHAT? HOW?
As a business, the very first question you must ask to yourself is WHY? Why are people coming here? Why are they preferring my cocktail bar to enjoy their time? The answer shouldn’t be one. You cannot answer this question “because I am the only one bar in this area”. It must be far beyond then this. People first must be enjoying in your bar. To enjoy, they must be comfortable. They must be served well to be comfortable. So this is a complete loop. If you skip one of them, it fails. You must always keep this loop alive, active and qualified.
You can provide the same service you promised after even one year. You need to continuously give the people same or better service to keep them coming. You need to give them a purpose to come. Are they coming to meet with other people? So it means this bar is welcoming different groups of people. Are they coming for the different cocktails? So keep your menu up. Are they coming to take selfies and do check-ins? So keep your interior design as attractive and assigned by your band, be unique and call people even from customer photos.
What are they coming for? Of course, if you are not promising a Michelin star restaurant then you cannot expect your costumers to come only for food and cocktails. This is a whole package, and the clothes of this package is your interior. Your interior must be attractive, comfortable and provide good circulation.
Building the Concept
To maintain a good interior, what do you need to do? First of all, you need to know that, before opening a bar, you must have fixed all the technical problems and you must have designed all the details. Later that, it will be hard to make big changes. Not only the interior must look good, it also must be smart. A winter coat may look good, but if it is not going to save you from the cold, it is useless. For the interiors, it is the same. If a customer is going to the toilet and a waiter coming from kitchen crushes, then there is a problem. Or if you have a big terrace without heating and covering from the rain, it is useless. If the two bartenders cannot work together because it is a small bar, then service delays and you fewer drinks will be prepared. It can seem nothing in the beginning but five more drinks for a night can change a lot in a year.
Another big collapse is being too much. There is many photos of other bars or concept you can find through searching. You can like many different details from there, and you may like to have them all. In this phase, you need to stop and consult with an interior designer. The things you like may not fit together as you imagined. Alternatively, it may not give the message of your concept. The interior must be balanced and be a unique piece of art in the end. Nothing less, nothing more.
Now you answered all your questions about building a new bar, and you are ready to create your concept. In the next post, we are going to provide more detailed information about the interior of a commercial bar.