Business At A Glance
Startup Costs: $50,000 – $100,000
Online Operation? No
If you own this kind of place you can expect to know many of yourregular customers. As on the TV show “Cheers,” you may find yourselftaking phone messages for customers or cashing their paychecks. It’sbecause of the friendly “home away from home” atmosphere thatneighborhood bars are successful.
Some of these pubs open as early as 6a.m., and they sometimes close earlier than other bars–depending onthe clientele. This type of bar is perfect for small-scaleentertainment options, such as darts, pool tables, video games andjukeboxes. If you’re thinking of owning a neighborhood bar, you mightconsider starting out with a beer and wine license first, and thenmoving on to a liquor license later if the business warrants it. Youmay or may not want to have a kitchen or extensive food menu, againdepending on your concept and your customer. Some neighborhood tavernsoffer sandwiches for the lunch crowd and appetizers in the evening, butno dinners. This avoids the need for a restaurant license and cuts downon costs. Across the country, this is probably the most popular type ofbar you’ll find. There are many neighborhood bars out there, but youmight find that there is room for one more in your area.
When creating your neighborhood bar concept, keep in mind the peopleyou’d like as customers. Contact the local chamber of commerce or SBAto get information on age, gender, income level, marital status, andpolitical and religious affiliations of your target market. You bar’sconcept may go in a totally different direction if you’re in a collegetown with a high percentage of young, single students than if you’re ina quiet, conservative suburb populated with families. Once you’veestablished your bar, how can you get the neighborhood to come?Generate word-of-mouth buzz through direct-mail campaigns, developing aWeb site or getting involved in community events and charity functions.
Once you have your location selected and have gotten the necessarylicenses, you will need to decide how to layout your bar and whatequipment you’ll need, including: glassware, compartment sinks, glassracks, taps and dispending systems for beer and soft drinks, cooler forbeer kegs, freezer, ice bins, ice machine, ice pick, ice scoops,dishwasher, storage cabinets and display shelves. You may also needkitchen equipment if you’re offering food items and machines for makingcoffee drinks. And don’t forget the beer, wine and liquor!