Bar Design Ideas – How to Design an Arcade Bar

Cabaret Design Group

How do you design an arcade bar?


Discover how marketing and material selection form the design concepts that can separate your bar from the competition. People are always asking ‘What are the best ideas and tips for designing a bar?’ Several months ago, another soon-to-be client asked the same question for an arcade bar he was planning in Reno, NV. Honestly, we had never designed such a bar, but the truth is, there’s a universal approach that works with most bar design that we’ve seen: any successful bar design project is rooted in a strong marketing identity.


To me, many well-designed commercial bars have a common thread: they’re rooted in strong branding. An arcade bar needs to standout and get the patrons excited. The next time you’re in a stylish commercial bar, make note of the décor. Every component within the bar is tied by consistent branding. This includes the bar itself, the menus, signage, etc. A very good case study for a bar’s branding could be seen at Buffalo Wild Wings. Branding also includes the company website, building exterior and interior as shown in the three photos below. In our example, our client made a sage choice when he decided to hire a professional marketing firm to set the corporate identity for his new arcade bar. In fact, at the time of our meeting, our client was actually in the process of evaluating the many options his marketing professionals had laid-out for him.


To be honest, the process of matching materials to color schemes can be challenging, as good marketing people will commonly lay-out many great combinations. For designing an arcade bar, the palette is far greater than traditional bar design, because we need to impart more energy. I was extended the privilege of being asked to assist with my recommendation. To me, the ultimate branding selection should tie strongly with the materials we were intending to use for the bar finishes. Fortunately, we’ve had very good experience with a company whose offerings seemed like a natural fit for the project at hand.


  • Lumi-Graf Furnished Critical Materials

Lumi-Graf, a Canadian manufacturer of fine, decorative resin panels, has a wide variety of products that seemed appropriate. In fact, they offer so many patterns and colors that the likelihood of finding a match makes a complicated process simpler. After reviewing dozens of ideas, I found what appeared to be the match for our project (see the three photos below). I arranged to have our client’s artwork sent to Lumi-Graf so we could evaluate real-life samples and here’s what we got: a bulls-eye! Everyone was very excited – the client, the marketing people and myself. And the best news is Lumi-Graf did this free-of-charge – including shipping!


The next goal was to layout the ideas onto the bar and the back bar designs, as seen in the above plan. For the bar top and bar foot rail design, we chose architectural metal – stainless steel by Rigidized Metals Corp. in Buffalo, NY. And here we are today, with photos of the finished bar. Everyone felt like we’d hit a home run and I agree. But it took teamwork – an owner with a strong commitment and a very good marketing firm. We all think Press Start will enjoy a great deal of success. A special thanks to our client, John Simpson, for including us in this project and a special shout-out to Matt McIver of Laxalt & McIver!

DISCLAIMER: The above video and description contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission. This helps support the channel and allows us to continue to make videos like this. Thank you for the support!

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