Bars are retail business establishments that specialize in serving alcoholic beverages and may or may not serve food. With this in mind, bar layouts are generally characterized by their emphasis on the front-of-house area, particularly the bar space itself. Bar types can range from a low-end dive bar to a booming night club to a traditional pub to a cocktail lounge with stylized elements such as lighting, seating, and general bar size and placement varying accordingly. Seating accommodations might include a mixture of booths, hight top tables, regular tables, lounge seating such as couches or armchairs, or bar seating only.

What are the factors to consider when planning a bar layout?

Physical comfort of customers is an important factor when planning a bar layout. Implementation of adequate bar and stool dimensions to give space not only between each person but also space for knees and legs at seated position is necessary. The entrance, ease of movement, use of soft lighting, and choice of music can create an ambience that results in repeat customers.

How do you layout bar equipment?

There needs to be enough glass storage with accessible shelving as well as a concealed service space to store cleaning supplies. Basic bar equipment needed include: coolers, sinks, draft beer dispenser, ice machine, glass washer machine, and POS system. Sinks and maintenance equipment should be grouped together on one end of the bar while dispensers, blenders, and ice chests should be grouped on the other end. Refrigeration, liquor, and glassware should be positioned behind (across the aisle from the bar top).

What is the difference between a pub and a bar?

A bar typically caters to a younger demographic, serves a wider array of alcoholic drinks, and has a minimal menu of food options. A pub features a calmer atmosphere where more mature locals gather to socialize, drink, and eat (given a broader selection of snacks). The ‘bar’ references the counter from which drinks are served while the ‘pub’ is short for public house.

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