Cocktail Bar Design Ideas: Top Tips for Cocktail Bar Owners

Developing a concept for cocktail bar design is a comprehensive job unto itself. You are not only designing the interior of your bar. You are also designing your business. Every single detail must be incorporated in this project. A striking cocktail bar interior design can catch the interest of patrons upon first glance. But in order to achieve this, you need to create a foundation to support the design, and the cocktail bar itself. A well designed cocktail bar interior is one of the many elements that can influence your guests' drinking experience. The concept sets the tone and often marks the fate of your business.

Develop a Concept

As cocktail bars are growing in popularity, more people are frequenting these drinking establishments on a weekly basis. Unlike a regular bar, a cocktail bar serves a variety of cocktails in addition to wine and beer. A cocktail is an alcoholic drink containing multiple ingredients. Even among cocktail bars, there are many different types that offer different experiences and attract specific customers. For instance, a garden bar offers a relaxing casual atmosphere whereas a lounge provides a more formal experience. A lot of emphasis is put on the lighting, music and tempo – all of which are commensurate with the number of customers at the bar. For instance, a packed bar aims to create a lively atmosphere with loud and fast music whereas emptier bars facilitate conversations among guests with slower beats and lower music volumes. Classic rock pairs nicely with a comfortable neighborhood bar design. Hip-hop music is recommended for a more upscale establishment. But the concept is where everything starts which is highlighted by the cocktail bar decorations you choose for your interior. A well thought out concept can make a big difference that impacts on the ambiance.

Layout and Design Plan

From ergonomics to efficiency and speed, the layout design can have a lot of effect on the bartenders and customers. Whether the structure manifests in dropped bottles or strained backs, a poorly designed cocktail bar plays host to a lot of drawbacks in the long run. By encompassing your layout plan in your cocktail bar design ideas with innovation, you can surpass some of the common challenges that are normally presented by a bar design. One of the most significant components of a cocktail bar layout is the overall energy and vibe of the location. The right ambiance can subconsciously encourage patrons to linger for a couple hours longer over a couple of martinis, beers or their favorite alcoholic beverage.


The layout should also align perfectly with space constraints. An evaluation of the bar measurements is needed to create a blueprint that can be used to design the desired layout. The furniture you select should be in accordance to the design and size of the bar as well. You can choose from bar stools, tables or a mix of commercial seating options that meet your business needs. Installing fixtures or other aesthetic components that are conducive to the theme such as water walls, fish tanks, space enhancing artwork and table dividers should be an integral part of your layout plan too. You can experiment with different lighting styles to find the one that works best. Dimmers in lighting fixtures are recommended for controlling the intimacy and ambiance of the space.

Find the Right Location and Audience

Finding a location for your cocktail bar, the neighborhood it is situated in, the surroundings and accessibility determines the first milestones of your business. When searching for the right place, you need to consider the factors that can affect foot traffic at your establishment. The location you select should be safe and easy for customers to find. When scouting a location, you should be well aware of the surroundings and keep score of competitors in that area. The survival of your business is not completely reliant on the location. It is also the milestone of the concept. The location you choose can determine the audience you will attract. If your bar is located near a university, it is almost certain that most of your customers will be students. In this instance, selling expensive cocktails may not be your best business strategy. Location automatically segues into the targeted audience. Going into business knowing the drinks you will serve and to whom can help you build a cocktail menu design and concept as well as directing you to the right location to establish your bar.

Set the Bar High with the Cocktail Menu Design

A cocktail menu is more than just a list of various drinks to order from. It is an essential tool for running a profitable operation. Much like in every dining and drinking establishments, customers are presented with a menu upon being seated at their tables. Not only can an illustrative cocktail menu design can generate a positive experience for your customers, but it can potentially maximize probability. But there is a lot to consider when designing a cocktail menu. Whether you are starting from scratch or revamping your current menu with new designs and drinks, you can create a successful menu if you know your clientele, include drink descriptions, update your menu as needed, use creative names for your drinks, strategically format prices, include origins of the drinks, limit the number of options (too many will overwhelm your customers), have a separate drink menu for cocktails if you are serving wine and/or beer, and put visual emphasis on high profit items.

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