Open a Bar or Nightclub -- Learn Here

Hoping to open in November

September 7, 2011

My partner and I are in the process of buying a bar. We would love to share our experiences here and maybe get some advice when needed. A little background info...Patrick has worked in bars for over 20 years and currently owns and runs his own karaoke company, I don't have any bar experience but, have worked in the small business accounting and tax field for about 20 years. He will be the manager and I will handle the financial end of the business. The bar is located in New Castle, Colorado a small town about 15 minutes from the resort town of Glenwood Springs and just over an hour from Vail. The building was built in 1894 and has been a bar/saloon for almost all of that time. It is also the only real "bar" in town and is located in the "historic district" of the town.

We are currently in the middle of the licensing process. So far, the only speed bump has been the previous tenant's refusal to sign transfer papers for the liquor license. Not a major hurdle but, it will push our opening back about a month and cost about $100 more for the extra paperwork.

The biggest issue at this point is the condition that the previous tenant left the business in. Patrick is spending a few days up there this week just cleaning and organizing the place. To be honest, it is filthy right now. I shudder at the state the coolers were left in. All I can say is, buy stock in Clorox. We hope to be able to start refinishing tables and chairs next week and possibly start painting then as well. Today we are getting in touch with liqour suppliers and arranging for pool tables and the jukebox to be brought in.

Wish us luck...we need all we can get. I hope to get a conversation started here and get some feedback from those of you already in the business. A sympathetic ear from people who have been through this before would be greatly appreciated. Thank You--Kim

Re: Hoping to open in November
by: ala1974
September 22, 2011

Congratulations! I have been in the bar/nightclub business for just under 17 years... (barback all the way up to owner) I can understand what you are about to get into. I would be more than happy to offer any help/advice that I can. To help me better understand, what is your square footage? Multiple floors or single? full food menu? please feel free to email me directly.  -   [email protected]

Re: Hoping to open in November
by: David Hobbs
September 22, 2011

I would like to see you post a daily blog style of entry.  Let us know what you are doing each day.  Kind of a trials and tribulation post.  This helps all of those on the site and gives us an idea of where you are in the process.


There are a lot of smart people on this site.  There are also a lot of people that have already done what you are currently doing.  We can all help you through the process and possibly help you avoid a few pitfalls.


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