How to Design and Build the Best Bar

Cabaret Design Group

How do you design and build the best bar?

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Learn the secrets to design and build the best bar, including commercial bar designrestaurant bar design, bar dimensions, bar design ideas, bar plans.


HOW TO DESIGN A BAR

To achieve the best bar design, use the time-proven standardized methods of design professionals. Architects and engineers utilize a standardized approach to everything they design. At the core of every architectural design is a plan which is developed by the creation of building blocks known as elevation views, isometric views and section views (“sections”), as depicted in Figure 1, below. These identify the shape and size of every object. Section views create the critical dimensions needed to create the elevations and plan view.

Architectural drawing depicting the value of section views in bar design
FIGURE 1. SAMPLE SKETCH OF SECTION VIEWS
Sections and elevations define every object in the plan

THE VALUE OF USING ARCHITECTURAL STANDARDS

According to architectural standards, the height of the finished bar shall be between 42” – 45”, as shown in Figure 2, below. My personal preference is for a finished height of 43”, which I personally use every day. Let’s review the sketch (available for download below):

  • The bar base (“bar die”) consists of wood studs or metal studs and track.
  • Framing members, 4″ or 6″, (items 1 & 2) are required every 16”.
  • Residential contractors normally prefer wood studs over metal studs.
  • In non-sprinklered buildings all wood materials are required to be fire retardant treated.
  • For metal studs, use a continuous 3” x 3” x 16 ga metal framing angle and clip attached to the tops of all studs, on both sides, shown as items 7 & 8.
  • ½” MDF plywood sheathing on each side, continuously, shown as item 3.
  • Cover the inside face of the bar die with FRP over ½” Durock underlayment, (item 4).
  • Numerous material choices are available to finish the exterior-side of the bar die; the sketch below shows cement board siding components by James Hardie Corp. (refer to items 15, 17, 18 and 21).
  • 1/2″ plastic laminate inlaid panel over MDF, shown as items 19 and 20.
  • 2″ dia. pipe footrest, shown as item 22.
  • 4″ stainless steel drink rail, shown as item 11.
Architectural drawing of commercial bar  die using metal studs as framing members
FIGURE 2. ARCHITECTURAL DRAWING OF BAR DIE USING METAL STUDS AS FRAMING MEMBERS
This sketch can be used to build any bar

DESIGN CRITERIA FOR DESIGNING AND BUILDING THE BEST BAR

The basic structure is just the first step in the process. Several additional items are worth noting on our journey to design and build the best bar:

  • The height of the bar die (which includes everything except the plywood underlayment and bar top) should be 41”.
  • The inside edge of the finished bar top should overhang the inside face of the bar by 11”; this is good ergonomic design and will reduce bartender back strain.
  • Electrical convenience outlets with USB ports (shown as item 16), installed every four feet.
  • By virtue installing a continuous angle on both sides of the bar die, you’ll have superior bar top support, no matter the bar top material selected. 

THE ORDERLINESS OF THE BAR DESIGN PROCESS

Given all the above, here’s the steps to design and build the best bar:

  • The process originates from the inside-out.
  • Draw cross section views of the bar and back bar.
  • Verify interior dimensions in all views (refer to Figure 3, below).
  • Ordering all materials and equipment.
Architectural drawing illustrating how bars are planned to fit spaces by drawing section views and plan views
FIGURE 3. THE BEST PRACTICE IS TO DESIGNING BARS IS FROM THE INSIDE-OUT

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DOWNLOADABLES FOR THIS POST:

UNIVERSAL BAR CLEARANCES WITH ADA DESIGN

STANDARD_COMMERCIAL_BAR_SECTION_WITH_DIMENSIONS

DIETRICH_STUDS

DIETRICH_METAL_TRACK

DIETRICH_EASY_CLIP_D_SERIES_SUPPORT_CLIPS

DIETRICH_HEAVY_GAUGE_ANGLE

POPULAR DOWNLOADS:

CUSTOM_DRINK_RAIL_DESIGN

BAR_AND_RESTAURANT_SEATING_GUIDELINES

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