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Guide to finding a new space for your bar in New York

Author: Michael Daniels
by Michael Daniels
Posted: May 29, 2020

If running a bar is the type of business you want to get into, in New York City you got to be ready. Since thousands of businesses are occupying the same area, you can expect to have some fierce competition. Your first steps don't start with finding a new space for your bar in New York, but long before that. From the moment you realize that it's something you would want to do in the future, you need to keep your eyes and ears open. Because, in reality, you never know when the opportunity will reveal, and you have to be ready to grab it.

Finding a new space for your bar in New York

As one of the most important aspects of positioning and representing your bar, the location is the first crucial choice you'll have to decide. The same way a good location can make your business prosperous, the bad location can crush even the most persistent dreams. So think carefully, review all locations you were often passing by, and take notes. Try to figure out what makes successful bars prosperous. Ask your friends for recommendations and opinions. You are in no obligation to listen to them, but it may give you some ideas. As for the financial part, be real. I can cost anywhere between $25,000 for an established small bar, up to about $1,000,000 in parts of Manhattan. Of course, the amount will depend on many factors, so here are a few things in connection with the location.

You might not succeed from the first try

Be prepared for failure, or in the best case, rough beginnings. No one can predict the outcome with a hundred percent certainty, so it may happen you don't succeed from the first try. After all, we are all humans, and humans are prone to bad judgments. However, don't let it discourage you. Maybe you are doing everything fine it's just the location is wrong. Get some help and try to relocate your bar somewhere else. Do it with the help of professionals to reduce the risk of additional expenses. You don't need that. Companies like Brooklyn Movers New York will help you do it in the least painful way.

Mind the zoning

Different zones in the cities are nothing new, but there are certain caveats regarding serving alcohol. You can find the perfect place in the city, but if it's too close to schools and religious institutions it's not going to happen. In fact, there is a legally required distance where you can and cannot have a bar. Also, every alcohol-serving business needs to pass the review of the local Community Board. In reality, you can expect some hard resistance, depending on the type of neighborhood. They will not go easy on you, so you better prepare.

Plan the entertainment upfront

Giving your bar a certain theme is probably something you already have in mind. Fortunately, it's quite a good strategy to choose targeted groups. Just like in any business, you can't get all the customers. Maybe you are planning to make a place for people over 30. Or you are going with the trend and pick on students. Eventually, you will need a balanced group of adults so the system doesn't crush under monotony. Of course, it means more profit for you. Also, plan how to engage your customers to say longer. Getting a Billiard Room Licence could be the right move. Have a billiard table handled by moving professionals and start arranging the interior.

Explore the night

To be completely sure you are exploring the right places when looking for a new space for your bar in New York, do it at night. Depending on the type of bar, the nightlife is what makes New York City an exciting place. Generally, you want to see where is the crowd moving during the night. Again, take notes before you take enough drinks. With a few exceptions, workers, singles, and students are the majority of the crowd.

Find help in the shape of advice

Without a doubt, you should consult the New York City Small Business Association. You can get answers to many questions there, even the most useful advice about the business. If you need assistance or mentorship, it's possible to get it as well.

Test your idea with a simulation

You probably have many ideas about how you wish your place to look like. This is, however, thin ice because you don't have the financial means to try them all at once. It would be a waste of investment. But, you can make use of all-around-us technology. There are many software solutions, even games, which you can use to try to simulate the environment of your new bar. Why risking with only once theme when you can try them all out? The best thing, you can play and see how the layout will look without actually purchasing any furniture or appliance. This way you might test and eliminate a part of the risky options and go for more expensive space.

Either infiltrate or learn on your own

The knowledge and the ability to judge the location and situation will not always come from manuals. Sometimes, you will have to roll up your sleeves and go to the front line. In other words, don't hesitate to try to work in a bar before you open one. This is, by far, the best way to gather the right knowledge about the business. Whether you are working as a bartender or a manager, there is always something to learn. This way, when the time comes, you will know exactly what type and location for your bar you need.

Obey the rules

Finally, it's needless to say that you should play by the rules. Here is a couple of things to remember:

  • Schedule all the necessary inspections.
  • Avoid common violations and fines.
  • Research specific or any additional requirements you might need to fulfill.
  • A Food Protection Certificate/Food Service Establishment Permit is necessary even for beverages.
  • Applying for a new license from the State Liquor Authority is a must.
  • Go green to avoid violations.
  • Carefully store hazardous materials.
  • Consult the NYC Department of Buildings about the signs.
  • Get along with The Department of Environmental Protection, it's in your best interest.

Eventually, to make your new space for your bar in New York more attractive, you should plan a great opening. Invest some capital in it, if it's working for many other bar owners, it's going to work for you too.

About the Author

Simone Lee is a Manhattan native who works in the moving industry. She likes to share her experience with her customers and the readers of her blog. She is a proud owner of 2 dogs.

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Author: Michael Daniels

Michael Daniels

Member since: Aug 23, 2019
Published articles: 5

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