Building a Bar Smarter
Building a bar smarter, faster & better

Designing and building a bar isn’t an easy process. A plethora of different factors must be considered when designing the bar and how they’re going to impact upon the customers using the bar, the bartender serving behind it and the look and feel of the establishment itself. Bars are constantly evolving and require new designs to meet the changing requirements of establishments looking to stand out from the crowd and create a memorable night for their customers. That said, three main areas of bar design remain most prevalent: space, efficiency and budget.


If you’ve worked as a bartender yourself, you’ll know first-hand how imperative space is behind the bar. A one-size-fits-all approach is doomed to fail, and it’s vital that factors such as the shape of the bar and the type of establishment are kept in mind when planning the design.

Cocktail bars, for example, need more space than a standard bar, due to the higher volume of ice and the requirement of larger ice wells. A common mistake is to sacrifice space in order to fit in appliances such as refrigerators, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Features such as Unifrigor continental bottle coolers with much larger capacities and rapid cooling meaning your staff can have the extra bottle space they need while also streamlining the serving process.


Who wants to spend hours queuing at a packed bar trying to catch the eye of a clearly overworked bartender in the hope of finally being served? We’ve all been there. Experiences like this can ruin the night and cause your customer base to dwindle. Upper high-level glass racks, cocktail stations with combined sinks and bin void and piggy back speed rails all create that important extra work space to maximise efficiency and profit ensuring that bartenders are within proximity of drinks and glasses therefore more customers can be served in a more efficient manner.


Budget is also huge factor in bar design. Cost is often the deciding factor but what seems like a pricey option initially might be more cost-effective long term. Going for the more expensive layout may enable each bar station to increase its capacity by as much as 25% per night which, over the course of a year, represents a big profit margin. Trying to cut costs by opting for a cheaper design that doesn’t match the purpose of your establishment will often prove to be a false economy.

Dawnvale believes in maximising profit by design. That means carefully considering the space from both aesthetic and operational perspectives. Weighing up the space available, balancing that against workflow and being realistic about the budget is key to making the correct design decisions for long-term success.

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