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Thread: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

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    Default What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    My family is in the process of buying a bar in my town and we plan on completely remodeling it in January. I was wondering what are the most important attributes of a sports bar or bar in general in your opinion. It's Indiana... so obviously there is going to be plenty of Pacers, Colts, Indy car, big screens for sunday, etc on the walls but what are some subtle (or not so subtle) things that you enjoy?

    EDIT:

    Just like to add that there have been some changes made but no remodeling yet.
    Here is the bar's myspace so you can see pictures of what we're working with. These pictures are from before absolutely anything had been done.

    www.myspace.com/ozzies_bar
    Last edited by Pacers#1Fan; 12-11-2008 at 12:45 PM. Reason: More info.

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    Banned Jonathan's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    1. Sandwich, Fries, Beer or mixed drink (well) under ten dollars.

    2. More seating/boothe space for people. Beer Drinkers are not marathon runners.

    3. Waitresses with wonderful personalities. Good Looks also help.

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    Default Re: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    Naked woman performing unspeakable acts. hahaha But seriously.

    On a serious note, I was at a sports bar in Seattle that had TV's at eat both that the people there could control, so if a family is there and they dont want to watch what is on the big screens they have there own TV there. Just a cool feature. UFC events is a must. Giveaways for the big sporting events is always a plus.

    Sports memorabilia of all kinds is also cool to look at. A variety of beers and other drinks. Great greasy food is a must.

    I am Canadian so my opinion may not count

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    Default Re: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    One dark beer on tap couldn't kill you, right?

    I don't mean Guinness. (or those fakey Coors / Michelob dark beer impostors).

    And why do folks jack the price up for a dark beer? One reasonably priced dark or amber draft goes a long way toward endearing a bar to me.

    The NTN Trivia box thing is kind of cool also.

  5. #5
    Well lubricated Skaut_Ech's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    Absolutely on the dark beer. Don't need to carry a huge stock, but I know the two guys I go to games with always order a Guiness to start things off.

    Also, some kind of sampler platter is nice. You're ususally not by yourself and that way the group can all pick at something and have a little variety.

    Waitress.bartender personality goes a long way for me. Yeah, it's nice having some cute babe wait on you, but it's way cooler having someone with an actual personality assist you. I don't care whether it's a smartass bartender or a sportsfan waitress. Don't hire on looks. Hire on personality.
    Hey! What're you kicking me for? You want me to ask? All right, I'll ask! Ma'am, where do the high school girls hang out in this town?

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    Default Re: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    Good food.

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    Default Re: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    Quote Originally Posted by kester99 View Post
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    One dark beer on tap couldn't kill you, right?

    I don't mean Guinness. (or those fakey Coors / Michelob dark beer impostors).

    And why do folks jack the price up for a dark beer? One reasonably priced dark or amber draft goes a long way toward endearing a bar to me.

    The NTN Trivia box thing is kind of cool also.

    Michelob Amber Bock is actually pretty good for a "fake" dark beer, but if
    you want to stock some really good dark beer get some good German
    doppelbock like Spaten Optimator. I know Union Jacks pub here in town
    has it on tap (Mmmmmmm).

    A decent selection of domestics and light beers for $2.00 or less (the less
    the better). Bucket specials are nice ways of offering domestics for less.

    Of coarse several good quality large-screen TVs are a necessity. Service
    must be subscribed to that will allow them to be tuned to any channel that
    a Pacers game might be broadcast on. That should be absolute top priority.

    A couple pool tables and maybe dart boards are always nice to keep folks
    occupied when there isn't something (like a televised game) going on.
    Alot of bar patrons seem to like those video golf games with the big
    trackball you use for aiming.

    A modern net-connected jukebox with decent audio system should be
    installed.

    An ATM (possibly Triton) as well a Bill Changer machine always are good
    for making it more convenient for patrons to access and spend money.

    Make sure to decorate your walls with as much Pacers memorabilia, vintage
    pictures, and neon lights as you can find first and foremost. The Colts and
    Indy 500 stuff can be used to fill in the gaps.

    If you are going to be running a small kitchen, aside from the standard bar
    food offerings (burgers & fries / onion rings, etc), a real winner is when
    your cooks know how to serve up a really good tenderloin sandwich that
    people will talk about. A really good hot chilli recipe wouldn't hurt either.

    Some bars around town set up a table for free self serve coney dogs during
    big games, but I'm not sure I can recommend this since after word gets
    around it can attract as many moochers as it does paying patrons.
    Same goes for a popcorn machine.

    Setting up a wireless router to provide WIFI internet access for patrons who
    might want to bring in their laptops would be a HUGE plus. Plenty of AC wall
    sockets for them to plug in certainly wouldn't hurt.

    The overall ambiance of the place has to give off good vibes, make people
    feel good, and want to go there to relax and have fun even when there
    are not any sporting events to be viewed.

    Spacious and uncramped restrooms rate very highly on the desireable list.

    Oh, and one last suggestion....make sure to hire very cute waitresses ;-)



    -

    Good luck with this, and will be watching for your posting when it is up and
    running. Would love to check it out and see if it is done right.
    Last edited by RamBo_Lamar; 11-18-2008 at 08:28 AM.

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    Default Re: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    I really appreciate all of the input guys! My mom is the one that is going to be doing the bar stuff and she has liked some of the ideas you guys have given! Keep them coming! I will have pics up soon of the "before" stage lol

    My personal project is actually the basement of the bar. I am turning it into a concert venue! I will upload pics of that soon as well (though I don't have any "before" pics seeing as a lot of work has been put into it in the last couple weeks).

    Seriously, I really appreciate the input!

  9. #9
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacers#1Fan View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote

    My personal project is actually the basement of the bar. I am turning it into a concert venue! I will upload pics of that soon as well (though I don't have any "before" pics seeing as a lot of work has been put into it in the last couple weeks).

    Seriously, I really appreciate the input!
    Egads... stairs! Bands don't like stairs... and sound companies hate them worse.

    Are you going to have an installed house sound and light system? That at least keeps some of the bigger items inhouse so that the bands and crews don't have to schlepp that stuff up/down stairs.

    Powah... lotsa power. Don't skimp here. Ideally you'd have several separate 20A circuits around the stage AND at least a 50A NEMA 1450R installed.

    Things that new and inexperienced clubs and venues learn at the wrong time:

    A- No, just because there are separate outlets in the wall doesn't mean they are on separate -circuits-. This one is an oldie but a goody.

    B- Nobody cares if something worked or was fine for the band the week before because every band is different and some have different requirements. Some can pull a rabbit outta their butt if they have to but if something requires X and there's no other option on the truck, it requires X.

    C- Mention the stairs up front so that bands can allow for extra crew, smaller amps, etc before arriving at the gig (If they ask if there's anything they should know about the load in, "stairs" is probably the highest on their list followed by what time they'll have access).

    D- If this is a bar where the bands are expected to be rockin' then most will have a soundman that will need and want to be out front. See "B" above.
    Allow for snake cable and power cable to get from stage to this position (overhead hooks (like bicycle hooks) in ceiling or wall will work). If the bands are background music or acoustic musicians, mixing from the stage is much more common.

    E- Don't expect a 120K light show if the ceiling is 7' tall above the stage and you have two outlets on stage... and you aren't even sure if they are separate or not.

    F- Never trust an electrician to know what the bands' needs are (regardless of what the electrician tells you). Check with a professional sound system installer. Most electricians will under spec it so far it isn't funny because they have no idea what size bulbs pro lighting uses, the numbers involved, or the power a modern amp rack can draw (and put out). It's much cheaper to do it right the first time, or to at least wire things with expansion in mind, than it is to redo it all later with no upgrade path.

    G- Have a dedicated parking area or load in area for the band's van or truck/trailer. Nothing is more frustrating for a band (aside from stairs ) to be told where the load in door is at and then see 20 cars blocking it and/or creating a long push to the venue. And it's just as frustrating when the show is over to not be able to have the band vehicle(s) as close to the door as possible and/or to have to weave thru an obstacle course with heavy equipment.

    -Bball
    Last edited by Bball; 11-21-2008 at 01:06 AM.
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

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    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

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    Default Re: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Egads... stairs! Bands don't like stairs... and sound companies hate them worse.

    Are you going to have an installed house sound and light system? That at least keeps some of the bigger items inhouse so that the bands and crews don't have to schlepp that stuff up/down stairs.

    Powah... lotsa power. Don't skimp here. Ideally you'd have several separate 20A circuits around the stage AND at least a 50A NEMA 1450R installed.

    Things that new and inexperienced clubs and venues learn at the wrong time:

    A- No, just because there are separate outlets in the wall doesn't mean they are on separate -circuits-. This one is an oldie but a goody.

    B- Nobody cares if something worked or was fine for the band the week before because every band is different and some have different requirements. Some can pull a rabbit outta their butt if they have to but if something requires X and there's no other option on the truck, it requires X.

    C- Mention the stairs up front so that bands can allow for extra crew, smaller amps, etc before arriving at the gig (If they ask if there's anything they should know about the load in, "stairs" is probably the highest on their list followed by what time they'll have access).

    D- If this is a bar where the bands are expected to be rockin' then most will have a soundman that will need and want to be out front. See "B" above.
    Allow for snake cable and power cable to get from stage to this position (overhead hooks (like bicycle hooks) in ceiling or wall will work). If the bands are background music or acoustic musicians, mixing from the stage is much more common.

    E- Don't expect a 120K light show if the ceiling is 7' tall above the stage and you have two outlets on stage... and you aren't even sure if they are separate or not.

    F- Never trust an electrician to know what the bands' needs are (regardless of what the electrician tells you). Check with a professional sound system installer. Most electricians will under spec it so far it isn't funny because they have no idea what size bulbs pro lighting uses, the numbers involved, or the power a modern amp rack can draw (and put out). It's much cheaper to do it right the first time, or to at least wire things with expansion in mind, than it is to redo it all later with no upgrade path.

    G- Have a dedicated parking area or load in area for the band's van or truck/trailer. Nothing is more frustrating for a band (aside from stairs ) to be told where the load in door is at and then see 20 cars blocking it and/or creating a long push to the venue. And it's just as frustrating when the show is over to not be able to have the band vehicle(s) as close to the door as possible and/or to have to weave thru an obstacle course with heavy equipment.

    -Bball
    Thanks for all the advice man!

    STAIRS DO SUCK!!! We have an elevator that opens behind the bar so bands can back up with their van/truck/car to unload, put anything they have on the elevator, and send their stuff into the venue. That problem came pre-solved lol. On a more personal note, I used to be in a band... stairs really do suck.

    Didn't plan on putting too much money into lights, I found a website called www.cheaplights.com that seemed like the best place to get stuff. I will prolly only get between 1 and 2 grand worth of lighting.

    As for sound, I have already met with a guy that runs sound for most of the concerts in this area at the venue. His business is called T and J Sound out of Connersville. With the way the venue is there isn't a huge need for super expensive sound equipment. I took a surround sound system down there and cranked it and that alone didn't sound terrible. I am getting house audio though definitely, I'm just going to play with the acoustics of the place as we proceed before a make any decisions.

    We are meeting with electricians for the power issue... the guy that runs the sound company gave his input and will probably be down when I meet with the electrician.

    I met with the town fire marshall yesterday just to get that stuff out of the way and start off knowing the rules before we build and then have to rebuild because things don't meet codes.

    All-in-all I think we are getting off on the right foot.

    If you have anymore advice I would love to hear it.

    Thanks,
    Jordan

  11. #11
    Jimmy did what Jimmy did Bball's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    LED Pars are getting popular. If you're starting from scratch, some LED Par64's might be a good way to go. You won't need any dimmers for them and they use very little power and stay cool. Easy on your electric bill that way!

    LED Pars don't need gels and every fixture is capable of multiple colors via lightboard programming. You can also utilize fewer cans. Let's say you'd normally use a small light show like 8 Par 64's (which at 500W each is 2 20A circuits worth) for your upstage lighting. You'd probably gel them in pairs (2 red, 2 blue, 2 yellow, etc). With the LED Pars you could have all 8 fixtures be blue in one scene and red in the next.

    The other thing to consider, if you don't have a high ceiling or huge stage, you could look at Par 46's instead of Par 64's. Par 46's are 200W each and you can use several more of them on the same power as what 4 Par 64's need (at minimum... Par 64's can be loaded w 500W bulbs, 600W bulbs, and 1000W bulbs). You could have the look of a huge 80's style lighting show with Par 46's on the same power as a smaller Par 64 show. Flood bulbs downstage and spot bulbs upstage.

    Don't knock yourself out on downstage lighting (front lights). As long as you're doing locals and regionals for your acts (and aren't a huge venue), 1-4 channels worth of front light will be fine. Whether that is 3 cans covering the stage on one channel or 2 cans flooding the stage on one channel and 3 more used as highlights.

    Intelligent lights are getting cheaper all the time and really do help set off a light show and give it a more modern look. Just 2-4 can make a huge difference.

    -
    House sound- I'd consider getting a larger snake than soundboard (unless you opt for a 40ch console which I doubt). That way a band could bring their own soundboard and use your snake. Some bands might prefer to just use your racks and stacks and use their own board and processing. Particularly these days with digital boards getting popular and affordable. The larger snake is also handy if you have opening bands (opening bands on small stages kinda suck though... if you have to have an opener in a small venue and on a smaller sound system, consider an acoustic act).

    Resource allocation:
    Don't spend all your money on name brand -toys- and then have no money left for the important pieces. I'd rather see nice speakers and amps with cheap Behringer compressors and gates than see DBX 1066 compressors and Drawmer gates with American DJ Amps and ADJ speakers.

    For the money, DBX 231 EQ's are a good deal as is DBX 266 compressors. For budget 4ch gates and comps I've had good luck with Alto gear there. Obviously, if you have the budget you can go for more rider friendly items in the processing rack. I use a lot of QSC amps and they've really been solid and are rider friendly if that matters to you. Like I said, if I had to skimp it would be on the less mission critical processing pieces that can be disposable (if they fail, just unplug and the show goes on). OTOH, the mission critical pieces need to be solid so that failures are rare: If a processor, crossover, amp or speaker fails then the show will be much more adversely affected than if you just end up short a couple of channels of comps due to failure.

    Research your speaker purchases well and don't get too caught up in marketing. JBL's lowest line stuff is no where near as good as their top line stuff. Same for EAW....
    They just use their reputation for top of the line stuff to sell the lower line stuff and you don't get as much bang for the buck (even though you still pay for the name).

    -Bball
    Nuntius was right. I was wrong. Frank Vogel has retained his job.

    ------

    "A player who makes a team great is more valuable than a great player. Losing yourself in the group, for the good of the group, thatís teamwork."

    -John Wooden

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    Junior Member The Toxic Avenger's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    With regards to your Musical Venue I'd make sure there were a lot of options if you are going to be able to "Sell it" to all types of bands. Seeing as how you were once IN a band you probably know that bands are all as different as can be... from heavy metal/screamo to folk to that one guy who plays the acoustic guitar and covers Tom Petty for his High School friends they all use different equipment and they all know it differently.

    Folk musicians, Acoustics, and amateurs will use the "Snake" cord a lot as they use a lot of Mics (Which they will hopefully have a lot of) and those amateur electric types will bring an amp and a small PA and not expect to even see/use a house mixer/PA. I say that last statement from experience...

    Seeing as how Connersville and Crawfordsville (where MY band mostly played) are very similar in size and demographics I'd say you probably have a lot of middle aged men that play country/bluegrass/rockabilly/good-ole-boy and a coupla highschool bands that play stuff no one but them wants to listen to...

    Anyway... Being downstairs on a stage would be nice if there was a good turnout to see you. I dislike when a band is just background noise in a bar because no one really wants them there when they are trying to watch TV, eat, drink and the Band has a terrible time because of it. IMO.

    On the other hand, if I'm at a bar I don't want to hear said crappy band coming from the basement while I'm trying to have a good time and watch TV or play "Poker" via NTN Trivia game so make sure its Uber-Insulated.

    I HATE it when I'm hearing:
    Overhead music
    TVs over that
    Loud Bar Chatter OVER that
    Loud Waitress OVER THAT
    Muffled Music that I can't even really distinguish but ruins distinguishing anything else "OVER" all of THAT!!!!

    On the topic of bars I'd try to use Brick Walls as much as you can as 1) it looks nicer than paint even when its dirty 2) It lasts longer 3) and is easy to manipulate/replace/drill holes into for mounting TVs 4) Gives great Sound and Heat Insulation. I'll grant you its more expensive than the standard Drywall route but IF you can afford it DO IT!!!

    Spend some quality time on the Restrooms too!

    I enjoy a clean, well thought out restroom more than I do a good sportsbar. Thats just me, but, still. I'd try to include:
    Spacious Stalls (remember we're not marathon runners)
    Some bar-ey decor
    Something to read/do that will make you VERY memorable... Sports Trivia anyone?

    Over the Urinals perhaps newspapers, Sports Illustrated, Maxim, or an ad for your nightly specials... You COULD even add a "Mention this Bathroom ad and get Half off a _____" , which would be weird, and I've never heard that done, but it would get MY attention and make you VERY memorable.

    As for food I personally don't like it when Bars try to have "Down Home Cooking" because its always over priced and always tastes like it was still frozen 15 minutes ago. Now, if you are planning on going all out than by all means go for it. I LOVES me some breakfast for dinner. But other than that I'd stick with Wings, CHicken Strips, Ribs, and Fried foods that are hopefully NOT frozen. I know thats HARD to accomplish but in my perfect world thats how it is.

    I might think of more later but for now thats all I got. Hope you found some of this helpful in some way.

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    Default Re: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    I look forward to seeing some of the pics of this place now. I bet it will look very sporty and Pacery... two good things.

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    Default Re: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    updates at top

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    Priviledged Member SamBear's Avatar
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    Default Re: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    If you can actually hear the game you go to see.
    12/27/2005 at Spurs - SamBear - 3

    1/2/2008 vs Memphis - SamBear - 19


    4/9/2014 - Luis Scola also recorded a season high with 24 points and Evan Turner added 23 for Indiana.

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    Default Re: What do you guys look for in a bar/sports bar?

    Quote Originally Posted by SamBear View Post
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    If you can actually hear the game you go to see.
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