How To Design a Commercial Bar

Good bar design depends upon design and technical skills and an understanding of the area. Bar designers will design the space to suit your needs, but it helps to fully understand what you require first. Fully understanding what to ask for will help your bar designers create a design which suits you.

The Law

For large construction projects you will need to obtain advice from your local planning authority. This only really matters if you are altering the construction of your space or you are building a bar for the first time. If they are only altering your room cosmetically – even if that means a whole new bar – you shouldn’t need to receive planning permission.

Hygiene and licensing laws also need considering if you are opening a new bar.


They will ask you about the layout you require in your bar. Put a lot of thought into this. If you have any qualms about the current size or layout (eg. there isn’t enough room for staff or the glass washer is too far away from the shelving for glasses), make sure you tell your bar designers. Now is the time to change anything which isn’t working well in your current bar, even if they are seemingly minor factors.

If you are adding a bar to a space which does not have one think even more thoroughly about the layout you require. If you will have more than one member of staff behind your new bar at a time try to make sure that everything is easily accessible all the way along (eg. a long row of glasses or red wines). Features which there are only one of (eg. the refrigerator and till) should be centrally located for ease of access.Your bar designers will be able to help you make practical decisions over these floor plans.


During the bar design process you will also need to consider sinks, glass washers and a built-in ice bucket. How many will you require, where will they be situated in the bar and will the area need plumbing work to accommodate them?

Also consider lighting. You will need extra lighting on the bar, and you may also want mood lighting in or above your shelves to highlight displays.


Think about the ‘look’ of your new bar. This is more down to your bar designers, but you should tell them about the look you want to create with your commercial space. Do you want a contemporary look, with shiny glass shelves and veneered surfaces, or a traditional wooden bar?