How much does it cost to build a bar in 2022? Discover the array of bar finishes for effective bar design and the cost to build a bar for hotels, restaurants and sports bars.
COSTS ESCALATE OVER TIME
From my previous post (referenced below), we priced a single bartender station (about 18’ 6”) of underbar equipment, at $6,075. That breaks down to about $328 per lineal foot. That was in 2014. By late 2021, this price has skyrocketed to nearly $900 per lineal foot! But remember, this represents the necessary capital to purchase just a single bartender station – and that there are additional equipment costs that need to be included.
HOW ARE COSTS AFFECTED IN 2022?
To further extrapolate, let’s say that we’re going to add four beer bottle coolers ($2,600 ea. in 2014). As of late 2021 the same back bar coolers cost $4,900 ea. For clarification, I’m pricing the Glastender BB60 stainless steel coolers with glass doors, as shown in the photo below and described in detail in a previous post (referenced below). We always want to place beer coolers on the back bar, so as to not interrupt the efficient production of alcohol-based drinks on the front bar, and, besides, this provides the added advantage of visual merchandising. Friends, your bar should be treated as an attractive billboard! Make your patrons excited to be brought into your experience and your brand.
WHAT BAR EQUIPMENT IS OPTIONAL?
Back to the budget, our investment has now climbed to $16,475, or $890 per lineal foot, for a single bartender station. However, we still need an ice machine, and what about other big-ticket items? Ice machines are more of a necessity, but don’t worry, because there’s Easy Ice, a great service for bar owners that enables them to save their precious operating capital, which I covered in a previous post, referenced below. Glass washing equipment is optional equipment for most single-station bars. Glass washers become a necessity in multiple bartender stations. Draft beer systems offer many options. Adding a draft beer system can add at least $5,000 – $15,000, which could potentially double the investment used in this example (see post below).
A LIST OF RELATED COSTS
What are the other costs related to bar construction budget? These are the likely cost categories incurred with commercial bars:
PRIMARY BUDGET ITEMS
- Plumbing – installation of drains and vents, water lines and equipment hook-up.
- Electrical – such as wiring, switches and outlets, and lighting.
- Equipment installation – the bar equipment itself.
- Bar die – the construction of the bar itself.
- Finish bar design – as discussed in an earlier post.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BUILD A COMMERCIAL BAR IN 2022?
In 2022 a good cost budget to build a basic bar that encompasses all the above related construction costs $3,000 per lineal foot. Always add at least 10% for contingency, which is a necessary fund to include in every construction project. This budget would also include a quartz bar top and moderately-priced material to finish the bar facing, such as the one shown in this photo.
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BAR DESIGN TIP
- Craft beer needs to be served at 38F and frozen glassware distorts the beer’s characteristics.
- According to the CDC, ice is classified as food; therefore, glass frosters require tedious, regular cleaning; most bar owners don’t have the qualified staff to perform this complex procedure.
- Glass frosters start at $1,500 and consume at least 24″ of underbar space.
LOOKING FOR BAR PRODUCTS?
If you’re in search of great products for your bar, be sure to check-out Bar Products. They have a comprehensive variety of quality, reasonably-priced products, such as the 2-step LED tiered liquor display at right.
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