Is a Bar Renovation Worth It?

Right. Sometimes, people ask me if renovating the bar was worth it. Considering that I paid for it and went through with the plan, I think the answer is pretty obvious. What people should ask, I think, is when a renovation would be worth it.


Now, I don’t speak for everybody with what I’m about to say. But when I was thinking about getting a renovation done, I had to put some serious thought into more than a few things. Hopefully, what I put a lot of thought into can help you figure if renovating your bar is the right move.


First, there’s the matter of money. Can you afford it?


It’s not just about whether or not you have the money to pay for it right now. As my friends over on thefinancialadvisorperth.com.au, it’s also about whether or not it can add value. If you can afford it, but it won’t add value, you may need to skip.


A renovation is an investment, you see. You’ll want to know if renovating now is worth the loss of income, and whether or not the remodel will help recoup your losses.


Another important consideration is the history of the bar.


Are you renovating because parts of the place used to be a restaurant? That changes the complexion of some details. Are you removing a part of the layout that’s important to the regulars? You could affect how comfortable people are that way.


Consider just how important anything in the bar is to the people who come there regularly. Moving an old jukebox around probably won’t matter much. If you move a well-worn booth that people have history and an emotional connection to – or even get rid of it – and you should reconsider.


How does the renovation affect the bar’s aesthetics?


Every good bar has its little theme, an intimate character or look that people associate with it. If you mess around with it too much, you lose touch with your regulars. You might draw a new crowd, but you’re not sure if they’re the group you want.


Certain people want or expect specific things in the décor of a bar. Bright colours and neon lights will draw in a different sort of clientele from more subdued browns and bright greens. Keep that in mind if your remodel is more aesthetic than practical.


Take time to look for areas that need renovation or remodelling.


Is there a leaking pipe that gets water all over a table or two? Is there an entire section of the bar that you prefer to keep empty because there’s a faint smell of rotten wood?


If you have any problem areas, they should be targets of a remodel. You’ll need to repair the first and clean out what makes them problematic, but a remodel should follow. Improving these can become important for the business in the long-term.


Those were my thoughts and areas of concern before I had the bar renovated. I think they’re general enough that anyone looking to renovate should consider them first.

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