What You Need to Know About Running a Dive Bar

Also called neighborhood bars, dive bars are casual pubs or bars where residents gather to hang out and drink. It?s a drinking establishment with a rundown atmosphere and appearance. Drinks are of low quality and cheap but often have high alcohol content. Dive bars don?t have an attractive atmosphere, so many people often go to these places to drink or eat inexpensively.

Regulars like the relaxed atmosphere of dives. That?s why they frequent these establishments. Here?s what you need to know about running a dive bar.

Name and Location

As with any other business, you need to come up with a name that will capture the attention and interest of your audience. The location of your dive bar is also important. Choose an old building. Stoops and alcoves on the building’s façade are great for people seeking refuge. You can also move in next to an alley or parking lot. The interior should be free from nooks. 

Business Hours

Open your dive bar before 8 in the morning. If the city codes don’t allow you to stay open throughout the night, open your bar as early as possible so your customers can order a drink before work. You should also operate under the radar. Create a shrewd arrangement to evade your city’s antismoking laws. You can also put up a cash-only dive bar with a disconnected or unlisted phone.

Some Grime is Necessary

Don’t clean the bar too often. This doesn’t mean that you should let pests decay beneath the cushions of your couches, but some grime is necessary. You should also keep the place dark when running a dive bar. Some dive bars are extremely well-lit, but most owners say dim is the best option.  You can enhance the lighting conditions of your bar by putting in bud light signs or Christmas tree lights. Jukeboxes, darts, video poker, pool, shuffleboard, and other games can also be included, but make sure to limit the number of televisions as they affect the sound of jukeboxes.

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Drinks and Decorations

Of course, the most essential part of the bar is the drinks. Provide only a few types of cheap beer. People come in to drink, but you don’t need to stock expensive wines or beer. You will want most of the beers in bottles or cans, as taps are hard to clean. As for your decorations, you can decorate the walls with handwritten signs or hang old paintings, dirty taxidermy, or yellowing photo collages.

Discourage cocktails, energy drinks, flaming drinks, or blended drinks. Encourage shots and beers. It is all about volume in dive bars. This is why their drinks are cheap. You’ll earn very little or nothing if you offer mixed drinks.

You can also create quirky traditions to make your dive bar more exciting and famous. Some dive bars hold cabaret shows to entertain patrons. You can give freebies to those who will enter your bar, such as a shirt with the name of your bar or logo printed on it. Unleash your creative side. These quirky traditions will attract more customers and improve your dive bar’s popularity.

You can also serve “dinner.” Some dive bar owners provide meals heartier than pretzels, such as free burgers and pizza, to keep their customers longer in the bar. Never serve popcorn if you don’t want to attract pigeons and pests. Serving dinner to your customers is an excellent way to keep them longer in their stools and turn them into loyal patrons. It’s also an excellent way to establish a good relationship with them.  

Running a dive bar doesn’t require muscles. You need to use your brains. Don’t encourage or be involved in fist fights or other activities that might get the attention of the police. You can call a cab to get somebody out of your place. Another way is to suggest the idea of calling the police. You can get your phone and act like you’re calling the authorities. 


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