How to Design an L Shaped Bar in 5 Minutes

How to design an L shaped bar in just 5 minutes

How do you design an L shaped bar? Today In five minutes I’ll show you how to create plans and layouts for L shaped bars!

WHY L SHAPED BARS ARE SO POPULAR

The first step in commercial bar design is space planning. The best application for the L shaped bar is fine dining and venues where space is limited. Refer to the sketch below:

  • Wait staff orders are designated for the return (short) side. This saves two seats compared to a similar shotgun bar.
  • They require less floor space because a portion of the bar equipment is shifted from the long side to the return side.
  • One opening provides superior security. 

L shaped bars do not provide for patron interaction. Therefore, avoid designating them in hotel lobbies and sports bars.

Cabaret Design Group
L SHAPED BAR WITH WAIT STAFF STATION ON RETURN LEG

PROCESSING THE GLASSWARE

The cardinal rule of bar design is that glassware flows from left-to-right. Glass preparation commences at the far left-end of the bar and flows clockwise.

  • A sketch of an L shaped bar is shown below. All references to direction are from behind the bar.
  • Soiled glassware is returned by the wait staff (in tubs) to the far left-end of the bar and staged on a drainboard.
  • Glasses are emptied and rinsed in a dump sink and then processed as follows:

3 Compartment Sinks 

    • Glassware accumulates on a drainboard where it awaits processing.
      Rack-Style Glasswashers
    • Glasses are manually placed into glass racks where they await processing.
  • After washing, glassware is then moved to an empty drainboard for drying.

The bartender will always have clean glasses immediately to his or her left.

BAR DESIGN TIP:

I recommend a waste receptacle to the left of the first drainboard.

Cabaret Design Group
WHERE TO PERFORM GLASS WASHING IN L SHAPED BAR

LOCATING THE BAR GATE

For an L shaped bar, the bar service gate (or bar opening) should be at the opposite end of the bar, from the return side. Here’s several configurations for the bar equipment on the return side:

  • All references in this section are to the sketch below.
  • Figure 1 depicts a gate on the return side, which causes an increase in length of 24″ and a loss of one seat. A pair of hinged bar gates is the only viable option for securing that end of the bar.
  • The best location for a gate is shown in Figure 2.
  • Figure 3 features a 45 degree which creates a desirable seating option.

BAR DESIGN TIP:

Bar gates are uncommon and rarely requested.

Cabaret Design Group
GATE LOCATIONS FOR AN L SHAPED BAR

DESIGNING THE BARTENDER STATION

There are many variations on the bartender station. The bartender station typically consists of:

  • Ice bin with cold plate, soda gun holder, bottle well, condiment tray and single speed rail.
  • Blender station (optional).
  • Liquor steps.
  • POS station. 

The photo below depicts equipment for an L shaped bar with 3 compartment sink (photo courtesy of Glastender). 

Cabaret Design Group
BAR EQUIPMENT FOR L SHAPED BAR WITH 3 COMPARTMENT SINK

ARE 3 COMPARTMENT SINKS REQUIRED FOR BARS?

I’m an advocate of automatic glass washers. These are the benefits (vs. 3 compartment sinks):

  • Space reduction of at least three feet.
  • Superior efficiency.
  • Produce much cleaner and safer glassware.
  • Properly-selected glass washers provide superior draft beer service.

For more information please read my post why most health departments don’t require 3 compartment sinks.

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POPULAR DOWNLOADS:

UNIVERSAL_BAR_CLEARANCES_WITH_ADA.pdf

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BAR_AND_RESTAURANT_SEATING_GUIDELINES.pdf

 

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