The Average Cost to Open a Bar

What is the average cost to start a bar is one of the most frequent questions asked by aspiring bar owners. It makes sense since the follow up question is often about how to get that amount of money to start one.

Of course the simple answer is it varies tremendously but that isn't very helpful. To help you get more perspective we can at least explain some of the options.

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At the high end, if you want to create a place from scratch, have a large operation (3000+ square feet) with a full kitchen restaurant included, more than one bar area, space for dancing or entertainment and lots of flat screen TVs on the wall, figure well over one million dollars to get it all set up right.

On the flip side, we just helped a guy get into a hole in the wall type space with a tiny kitchen without a hood and only room for about a dozen people but the total cost to start was literally only $3,000!

He bought out a desperate seller and just did a little painting and moved some stuff around and he was open for business and now is pulling in close to $15,000/month in sales! Not bad at all for the size of the place and considering how much of that is pure profit.

In order to figure out how much or how little you can get started for, you have to figure in some basic questions:


Most people can get a nice bar set up for $100,000 to $150,000 if they aren't set on having it be the biggest or flashiest possible place. Some can get into it for far less and of course you can always find more to spend on if you want to really be fancy.

Every time you decide to go bigger rather than smaller you are adding to the price. Every time you pick custom or new over used or existing you are adding to the price.

If funds are short, in many cases it is better to start small and look for a place you can take over for cheap and then make it into what you want as cash comes in rather than shoot for the moon on your first try.

On the other hand, if you have the cash or can raise it, you can build exactly the place you want and go big fast.

In order to figure out exactly how much money you can make and what it will cost to open the bar you want you can use our bar financials creation tool to get an exact figure and then put it together with a complete bar funding package to make it happen.

Still have questions or not sure how it will work for your situation? Shoot us an email and we can help.