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Anyone ever open or manage a bar?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine is all in love with the idea, wants me in as partner.
I've got some friends who manage at 4/5 star restaurants, but that's nowhere near what he's thinking about. Just looking for general advice from all those that have wet their toes
post #2 of 21
is almost as good a way to lose your life savings as a bed & breakfast
post #3 of 21
I have 3 friends who own bars in nashville. They all do VERY well....but one owns a dozen bars in the southeast, and one owns a bar thats quite famous in nashville, and the other is broke. Personally, I wouldnt do it. I managed one for a brief time....its a total pain in the ass and makes you hate people.
post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 
the thing is... i'm under the impression that restaurants are much more likely to fail than a bar would. we would have a method of serving food but it's being outsourced - and more importantly than that it's quality food. can't reveal the details though.

so anyone lose their life savings in bar (on the managing side not the drinking side)
post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekS View Post
I have 3 friends who own bars in nashville. They all do VERY well....but one owns a dozen bars in the southeast, and one owns a bar thats quite famous in nashville, and the other is broke. Personally, I wouldnt do it. I managed one for a brief time....its a total pain in the ass and makes you hate people.

willing to give the top reasons why?
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewallychamp View Post
willing to give the top reasons why?

Because you have to hang out with drunks all day everyday. It is terrible.
post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reborn View Post
Because you have to hang out with drunks all day everyday. It is terrible.

obvious enough but some of them are funny anddd some of them are chicks..
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewallychamp View Post
obvious enough but some of them are funny anddd some of them are chicks..

Funny drunks wear thin fast, as do drunk chicks.
post #9 of 21
I've closed down a few....
post #10 of 21
My friend's dad owned a bar for about 6 months then sold it. He sold it because it became too much trouble for him.

Some things to consider are:
1. You have to work and manager the bar almost every night to make any money.
2. You don't get to go home when the bar closes. You still need to clean up, count money, do inventory, etc which will usually take an hour or two after the bar closes.
3. Your friends are going to want free drinks or discounts especially if they helped you invest in it.
4. You better like your bar because you're never going to go out to another one on your rare night off.
post #11 of 21
my very close friends have opened/managed bars for the past 2 decades. from what I've learned its a very attractive idea- having a bar of your own, but most of the time its more trouble than its worth.
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texasmade View Post
My friend's dad owned a bar for about 6 months then sold it. He sold it because it became too much trouble for him.

Some things to consider are:
1. You have to work and manager the bar almost every night to make any money.
2. You don't get to go home when the bar closes. You still need to clean up, count money, do inventory, etc which will usually take an hour or two after the bar closes.
3. Your friends are going to want free drinks or discounts especially if they helped you invest in it.
4. You better like your bar because you're never going to go out to another one on your rare night off.

All of this.

Don't own a bar if you like hanging out in bars. You should only consider managing a bar if you like dealing with rowdy drunkards, habitual liars, cheats, scofflaws, broke college students, and depressed single parents. Basically if you would enjoy work as a prison guard or caretaker in a rest home then bar ownership is for you.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by thewallychamp View Post
willing to give the top reasons why?

ill briefly explain...

your friends expect free drinks and for you to hook them up with the slutty bartenders
girls you wanna bohn expect free drinks and special treatment
drunk frat boys will try to buddy up with you for free drinks.
drunk frat boys will try ot bohn your bartenders.
drunk girls will start fights with your bartenders for their boyfriends hitting on them
Homeless people will come in and try to get money. then hide in the bathroom.
People will try to stiff you with open tabs.
People will use old or stolen credit cards to start a tab.
fights, fights, fights.

these are just a few reasons. but, it is fun because you can give your friends free drinks and hook them up with slutty bartenders. (the ones you HAVENT banged yet)
you can give free drinks to girls you wanna bohn, and then bohn them.
you can have drunk frat boys that cause problems kicked out. .... or have your door guy throw them out.
you can watch drunk girls fight in mini skirts.

I only worked there for a short time...then we all just hung out at the bar all the time....hanging out at your friends bar beats the hell out of working for your friend at his bar.
post #14 of 21
My brother and I used to buy rundown bars then build up the business and sell them. It's not difficult to do but it is very hard work. He ran them and I did the business and finance side. It was very profitable but after a while it got to him and he didn't want to do it any more. You start early with deliveries arriving and are there late wrapping up after closing time. As a lifestyle it really sucks which is why he wanted out in the end.

What we used to do was look for badly run bars in reasonable locations. Get rid of the old customers (dump jukeboxes, pool tables, etc. usually does it), focus on providing good food, and make the place pleasant. Ideally rename it and start getting publicity. After a year or so sell it to someone looking for a lifestyle bar and you are done.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by DerekS View Post
ill briefly explain...

your friends expect free drinks and for you to hook them up with the slutty bartenders
girls you wanna bohn expect free drinks and special treatment
drunk frat boys will try to buddy up with you for free drinks.
drunk frat boys will try ot bohn your bartenders.
drunk girls will start fights with your bartenders for their boyfriends hitting on them
Homeless people will come in and try to get money. then hide in the bathroom.
People will try to stiff you with open tabs.
People will use old or stolen credit cards to start a tab.
fights, fights, fights.

these are just a few reasons. but, it is fun because you can give your friends free drinks and hook them up with slutty bartenders. (the ones you HAVENT banged yet)
you can give free drinks to girls you wanna bohn, and then bohn them.
you can have drunk frat boys that cause problems kicked out. .... or have your door guy throw them out.
you can watch drunk girls fight in mini skirts.

I only worked there for a short time...then we all just hung out at the bar all the time....hanging out at your friends bar beats the hell out of working for your friend at his bar.

I think this all has a lot to do with the kind of bar you are opening and where it is. A sports bar in Central NJ is going to have a different clientle than a cocktail bar on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
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