Sports Bar Design Guide – Layout Ideas to Consider

Laughter, entertainment, friends, and fun are what normally come to mind when you configure your sports bar design and layout. As you are thinking about owning your own sports bar one day, you are probably imagining the rooms being filled with music, friendly conversations, and people enjoying themselves with a few drinks. Details of the sports bar layout design are especially important to score big with sports enthusiasts and following through with the right tips and guidance provided for you can get the ball in your court.

Sports bars naturally provide a causal and relaxed environment with a big screen television of major sporting events. Neighborhood sports bars can be popular hangouts for those who need a social outlet. Many new establishments are adding an extra dimension to appeal to the younger demographic. Owning a sports bar seems like a great business opportunity to many entrepreneurs but it’s not all just excitement and fun. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes. Your endeavors can be a success if the design, layout, menu and services are well planned and executed.

Getting Started with a Theme

One of the most critical sports bar interior design decisions to make is selecting a theme. The theme is crucial for the sports bar design as it suggests the colors of the décor and the memorabilia that is typically displayed on the walls. To look for inspiration, you can visit popular bars at a location you would highly consider. You can keep a journal of sports bar design ideas that stood out to you the most. Doing as such will champion creativity with your bar layout plans. You can then create a name that fits with the concept and relates to your target audience.


If you decide to establish your bar near a stadium, another option for your theme would be to mimic the team with a display of colors and memorabilia for your décor. Creating zones or corners for each sport at your bar could pique the interest of your potential customers upon entry. The memorabilia should exhibit a mixture of news clippings, posters of legendary players, and framed equipment (i.e.; baseballs, bats, mitts, etc.). Televised sports events are the primary attraction in a sports bar. You want to offer an unobstructed good viewing experience from any seat for your customers with large screen high-definition televisions. The number of TVs you need depends on the square footage of the bar. Regardless of how big or small your sports bar is, investing in top quality sound equipment with the help from an audio professional will eventually pay off.

Scouting Your Competition and Location

When searching for a location, chances are that area already has several sports bars where fans like to gather to watch their favorite events with drinks. To rate your competition, you should visit those sports bars during a busy season be it the World Series, The World Cup, NFL Super Bowl, NBA finals , or the NHL Stanley Cup to check out the menu, see the selection of drinks they serve and observe the interaction between employees and customers. If most local bars are dive joints, you should consider opening a more upscale venue. Likewise, if your town is laden with swanky sports bar, you want to opt for a more lowbrow yet lively theme with simple dishes and classic beers.

Selling More from Your Bar with a Menu

Deciding on the food and drinks you want to feature on your bar menu can be challenging. Customers can place a huge demand on different tastes. While sports bar patrons don’t have high expectations for fine dining, the quality of service is highly anticipated by customers. A well designed menu can help showcase happy hours, bar food, holiday drinks, specialty cocktails and a whole lot more. With the right size, font, and high quality printing, a fun and enticing menu can promote your beverage service creating a memorable experience for your customers. A modest sized colorful sports themed menu listing American favorites from hamburgers, pizza, fries, and chicken wings along with popular beer brands should suffice. There is enough room for originality where your menu can feature unique and fresh take on of classics. Simplicity, however, shouldn’t mean you have to compromise on the quality of the food you serve. Whether you serve regional or local favorites, using creative and viable bar menu ideas that can add to your business with customer satisfaction and maximize profits is the right foot to start off on.

Taking Accountability

Laying out the groundwork to operate your sports bar should include the systems used to track food and drinks. With a system in place, you can determine how much the customer owes the bartender/server and in turn, how much they owe you – tips included. Also, you can see what liquor and food sells the most or the least in order to make responsible purchases for your bar. The systems you use depend on the size and type of bar you have. For instance, bar tenders and servers are assigned to handle money in most bars. Cashiers and take-out staff may also handle money. When choosing a reliable accounting system, levels of sales in both alcohol and drink as well as efficiency from the staff you hire to are factors to consider. Most bar owners like to think that the staff they hire are loyal, honest and trustworthy. People who might steal when given the opportunity to do so don’t think of themselves as thieves and therefore don’t give the impression as such. If you use the “cash and carry system” where servers place a verbal order on drinks then pay before the bartender/server rings them up, you might find that some of those drinks were accidently given for free. No system is fool-proof and the responsibility of the revenue and operations fall upon you which are why you need to be diligent.

Making Your Sports Bar the Place to Be

A sports bar is evolved from concepts of a neighborhood bar in which the owner aims to create an ambiance where guests feel welcomed and want to come back again. Incorporating game equipment such as air hockey tables, pool tables and sports-themed video games in your sports bar design will allow guests to interact with each other, order more food and beverage and hang around longer. Furnishing your space with premium quality comfortable restaurant bar stools, chairs, or booths can add to experience you want your customers to have. The more fun customers have at your bar, the more likely they’ll tell people about it. Ultimately, the word-of-mouth method of advertising from satisfied customers is essential to the success of your business.

Live Locations