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October 27, 2020

Designing a floorplan for a restaurant takes a lot of work to make appropriate use of space, incorporate proper seating arrangements, establish a comfortable and welcome atmosphere, and so much more. In addition to new restaurants that create floor plans from scratch, many established restaurants […] must reconfigure their existing layouts in light of the COVID-19 pandemic to promote socially distanced in-house dining. Of course, many restaurants are not complete without a fully stocked bar, which must factor into the design plans. Wise restaurant owners will hire interior designers with experience in floor space management who, in turn, can cobble together the design build construction teams to complete the work. These are the experts who lead the discussions on how to design and build a bar within the available restaurant space.

To the non-experts outside of the restaurant construction space, what exactly goes into the plan for an in-house restaurant bar? Let’s look at some of those details to help paint the picture.

How to build a commercial bar

The most important step in the design and construction of a commercial bar is the bar base. As with any construction project, the foundation is critical to the structural integrity of the rest of the project. The bar base is the foundation of the restaurant bar, and the base must absolutely be built to code to ensure a safe and stable bar setting.

As the floor specs for the base of the bar come together, there should be a conscious effort to ensure the base leaves ample room for inventory. A commercial bar needs to be fully stocked so that, upon opening, bartenders can serve customers with as many variations of drinks and cocktails as possible. Use this helpful guide on inventory building to prepare your establishment for how to keep a fully stocked bar.

What are some bar layout guidelines

When it comes to the overall bar design and layout, there are a number of guidelines that interior designers will recommend to owners throughout the construction of the bar space.

First of all, the look and feel of the bar should match the atmosphere of the entire restaurant. The bar is part of the restaurant brand, and it only makes sense to ensure that the bar reflects the same mood, colours, tone, and design of the restaurant brand itself.

Secondly, proximity to both storage space and the kitchen of the restaurant is also important. You need to leave plenty of room for inventory near the space of the bar to keep the shelves fully stocked as time goes on. Creating space to store excess bottles of alcohol near the front of the bar saves time and simplifies the stocking of the shelves.

Additionally, some customers may choose to dine at the restaurant but do so at the bar. The bar should be in relatively close proximity to the kitchen so that any hot food can be delivered before it goes cold.

Bar design standard dimensions

You need to make sure the height of the bar is comfortable enough for both the bartenders and the patrons who sit on the stools. There’s a guide on restaurant bar design stating that industry best practices are for a 42” bar height coupled with stools that are 30” high. These heights give people a comfortable perch as they sit and enjoy a drink in your establishment.

In addition to height, commercial bars have standard guidelines for length, width, and depth. A commercial bar has approximately 3’ of space between the front of the bar and where the inventory is located on the back wall. The width of a commercial restaurant bar typically ranges between 20” to 30” wide with an average depth of 25”.

Contractors and subcontractors hired by your interior designer and project manager will most likely adhere to these guidelines. The obvious exception is unless the layout plan specifically opts for a custom-made design with different dimensions than the universal best practices.

Commercial bar plans and designs

A commercial restaurant bar always begins with the design and specs for the allotted space. There are a number of straightforward designs and layouts for commercial bar plans on Pinterest boards that illustrate what goes into a standard restaurant floor plan.

To build a bar in an existing commercial restaurant, you need to ensure the new addition matches the quality and expectations of the established space. The bar is part of your brand identity and must adhere to what you, as the owner, as well as what your customers expect to experience from such an addition. That’s why it’s important to hire design build construction experts who simplify the development process and deliver impeccable results.

Commercial back bar design ideas

Even though you want to tailor the bar design to the look and feel of the restaurant brand, you can still take inspiration from established design ideas. This is particularly true for the back bar design space, which serves as a visual extension and representation of the entire restaurant brand. Use some of these back bar design pinboards for creative inspiration.

Additionally, do your own self-assessment and consult with your interior designer on the best way to incorporate your ideas. Think about your existing customer base and the elements of the established restaurant space that capture their attention. What can you do with the allotted space for the bar that aligns with those consumer expectations? This, in addition to the restaurant brand identity, will help you determine how to develop a back bar design that invites more people to pull up a stool and take a load off.

Looking for a construction partner for a turn-key solution? We can handle it from start to finish so you can focus on the growth of the brand. Get in touch with the experts at (905) 696-0486 or email [email protected] for more details.