Cocktail Bar Design: How to Create a Space That Celebrates the Art of Mixology

Designing a bar means combining the need for a functional and versatile space with personality, creating the kind of atmosphere which compliments your business and the experience that you are looking to provide to visitors.

Whether you want your bar to be appealing to all or tailored towards a specific type of clientele and customer, the details around cocktail bar design require you to consider the functionality and practical aspects of your space as well as the more intricate design details – from layout and placement of furnishings to colour selection, lighting, and more.

Creating a cocktail bar business plan

When it comes to bringing a cocktail bar to life, a key piece of advice is to create a business plan which highlights and identifies the details and factors which will enable your bar to stand out amongst the competition.

With so many bars now filling every high street and town location in the UK, building a business which will withstand the test of time means recognising the importance of a versatile space which offers a very specific experience, but which is accessible to as many potential customers as possible. Your space should be tailored towards a theme which is picture-perfect and effortlessly stylish or experiential, without alienating specific customer groups.

In addition, your business plan should include ways in which your space can be used for private hire and events, presenting the bar as a blank canvas for those who want to personalise the space according to their own celebration or event. Diversification is the key to business success in the modern climate, with private hire and branded events just another way of utilising your bar space to drive custom.

Navigation and layout

Cocktail bar interior design

Once your business plan is in place, outlining your target customer and the kind of experience you want to present in your cocktail bar, it’s time to pay attention to navigation and layout – that is, how functional and efficient the entire space is in terms of both service and the customer experience.

Again, you need to consider the different ways in which the space will be used – for example, do you want a dance floor or DJ booth on the service floor, or do you want the bar itself to be the focal point of the entire space? Do you want to mix and match different types of tables and seats for customers, for example integrating booths and sofas amid high tables and bar stools, or do you want the entire space to present a very formal and structured layout?

Finally, consider the navigation from entrance to bar, from bar to bathrooms, and between the tables. Ideally you want to draw people into your cocktail bar by presenting an enticing atmosphere as soon as they look inside – but without overwhelming their first impression. Which is where colour, texture, and the accessory details come in.

Colours vs. textures

If you’re dressing a small cocktail bar, or looking to present a simple aesthetic which is versatile and can support a variety of different themes depending on the night or the season, then a neutrally coloured space filled with different textures can help to ensure your bar does not become overwhelmed by colour. Not to mention, colour can have an impact on the experience of customers, with bar business owners needing to consider how the surroundings frame the overall atmosphere of their bar.

Lighting and accessories

Finally, to lighting and accessories – both areas of interior design which can transform a space and turn it from cool and unwelcoming into cosy and warm within seconds. Everything from the way you light your bar to the intensity of each light fitting and its proximity to furnishings and accessories can alter the way a space is presented. For example, large overhead lighting can feel cold and removed, while wall lights help to draw attention to the colours and to decorative accessories, and small table lamps create a more intimate setting.

On approach is to mix and match different light fittings to help suit all occasions and to ensure that the space is functional and efficient as well as intimate and private for couples and smaller groups to enjoy their own experience.

Every cocktail bar is different, with the interior design and layout all contributing towards the unique presentation and experience available to customers. To help bring your cocktail bar to life, embracing the details of your business plan and ensuring the atmosphere reflects the experience you want to offer to guests, our team are here to help. Get in touch with Carroll Design directly to discuss.

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