A Guide for Redesigning Your Bar After the Pandemic

Updated August 3rd, 2021

During the coronavirus pandemic, it’s been commonplace for bars and restaurants to close or significantly limit their services due to having fewer visitors and restrictions on distancing. Whilst some managed to remain open in some way, especially bars that offer food deliveries or safe outdoor seating, others shut their doors to ride out the storm. Now, with so many places reopening, you might be considering how best to give your bar a fresh and positive new look.

Figure Out a New Layout

To conform to new ideas of social distancing that are likely to carry on into the future, it’s worth assessing the current layout of your bar to see if people are going to feel cramped or not. You want to give customers the chance to keep their distance from others if needed, so take away any excessive obstacles. Creating a good layout plan will help you to understand how best to balance seating and space.

Color and Themes

Choosing the right color is said to be a great way of influencing the mood of patrons. Dull colors can really dampen spirits, whereas darker, moody ones can give a relaxing and contemplative atmosphere. Of course, you should try not to veer too far from your brand colors, so take that into account during the marketing process. If your logo is bright yellow, but your interior is made up of different shades of red, it’s going to clash and be very off-putting.

Beautify the Entrance

This should be an obvious one, but the front of your bar needs to be attractive and enticing to encourage customers inside. If you’re yet to reopen your bar, now would be the ideal time to renovate this part of your establishment. Eye-catching lights and colors, as well as a decent view inside the bar with clean, large windows, can encourage passersby to check the place out. Don’t forget to make your branding visible and recognizable too.

Choose a Demographic

Ideally, you want to tailor the feel of your bar to a specific demographic. Research which audience you’re catering to and design the look and feel of the place to suit them. Ideally, your bar could cater to everyone, but without specializing, you’re at risk of people filtering off to other more tailored bars.

Lighting and Sound

These can make or break the feel of your bar, so be careful with how they’re implemented. A relaxed evening atmosphere warrants subdued lighting without appearing too dingy. You’ll also want some chill music resigned to the background. A more upbeat bar will need a great balance between darker private areas for groups to distance themselves from others whilst also having some exciting and fun color lights to get everyone energized. A great addition to any bar, no matter the vibe, are neon lights. Echo Neon has a great range of quirky signs to set the tone of your bar, as well as the option to create custom neon signs too. Put your bar’s name in lights outside or designate certain areas.

Table and Chair Styles

It’s always a good idea to have a good mixture of different seating options as party sizes will vary. Larger tables in booths make for great options for birthdays and private celebrations, and bar stools are great for a couple of friends going out for a catch-up.

Restroom Renovation

Toilet areas are frequently overlooked, and many people will judge your bar based on how well you keep these places clean. Use scented candles if safe to do so or built-in air fresheners to eradicate odors as well as this, give the place a welcoming feel and keep it well-maintained. Don’t let graffiti, broken locks, and faulty hand-driers ruin restroom visits. If you’re able to choose a location for your restrooms, make sure they’re away from seating areas but also central enough for ease of access and locating.

A New Menu and Kitchen

You may think that running a kitchen in your bar is more work than you can handle, but the benefits of serving food to intoxicated customers not only boost your profits but it will keep people around for longer. Good food is also going to add a whole other demographic to the bar, too, if you’re looking to bring in more relaxed patrons. Keep up with menu trends such as vegan and vegetarian options too, and you’ll have some very pleased customers. An open kitchen can create a very welcoming appearance to a bar, and the smell of good food is going to add a whole other element to the atmosphere.

Garden Area

As well as providing customers with an area to smoke, an outdoor space, if you have one, is perfect for those warmer nights out. A good idea for this is to make it a quieter place for people to use for easier socializing and getting some fresh air without leaving altogether. If you don’t have an outdoor area, consider other options, such as expanding onto the front of the bar if you can get the right permissions or even making use of your rooftop to create a luxury terrace.

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