An Easy Checklist for Opening a Bar

An Easy Checklist for Opening a Bar

Opening a bar can be a lot of work, but it can also be a lot of fun.

Opening your own bar can be a fun and exciting endeavour. But before you can open your doors to the public, there are a few things you need to do first. Otherwise, opening up when you're not ready can quickly turn your dream into a nightmare.

To help you get started on the right foot, use this checklist to make sure you have the essentials down before opening day.


You need furniture.

You'll need enough chairs, stools, and pub tables to comfortably seat your guests, as well as a bar. If you plan on having live music or entertainment, you may want to consider a stage or dance floor as well.

When choosing furniture, don't sacrifice style for comfort. If you want your bar to stand out, getting quirky furniture is a good way to start.

Enough Alcohol

It's easy to get the wrong number when it comes to buying alcohol for your bar.

But it's important to have enough on hand because nothing will kill the mood quite like being out of your guests' drink of choice. A good rule of thumb is to have at least two bottles of liquor for every cocktail you plan on serving.

And don't forget the beer! You'll need both kegs and bottles to keep everyone happy.

AAC Permits

You can't open a bar without the proper permits and licenses from the Alcoholic Beverage Control board in your state.

Each state has different requirements, so be sure to check with your local AAC office before you start buying alcohol.

The penalty for serving without a license can be pretty steep, so it's not worth the risk.

Cocktail Recipes

Your bartenders will need to know how to make all of the cocktails on your menu.

That means having recipes on hand for them to reference.

If you're not sure where to start, there are plenty of resources online. You can also find recipe books at your local bookstore or library. Or, you can create your own recipes from scratch.


Your bar won't be much fun without some entertainment.

That could mean having a pool table, darts, or even just a good sound system for music.

Think about what kind of atmosphere you want to create and choose your entertainment accordingly. For instance, if you want your bar to be a place where people can come to unwind after work, having a television might be a good idea.

Social Media Accounts

Your bar isn't going to succeed without social media hype.

Set up Twitter and Facebook accounts for your business, and make sure to post regularly. Also, TikTok and Instagram are very popular for bars, so create accounts for those platforms as well.

Then encourage your customers to tag your bar when they're there.

Also, post pictures of your cocktails, and run occasional promotions or contests to keep things interesting.

Opening a bar can be a lot of work, but it can also be a lot of fun. By following this checklist, you can be sure that you're prepared for everything opening day throws your way.