Designing a store can be overwhelming. There are so many details and things to consider. And what if we make a poor decision and are stuck with a layout that doesn't work well for us our our customers? But designing a store is also exciting. Having (almost) total control of the layout and being able to plan for all of the little things that are going to make it feel more welcoming and enjoyable for our customers is a lot of fun.
In all honesty, we have found a great location (more about that in a later blog post) and a space that is already laid out so we don't have to do much (relatively) to make it work. But all of the small details add up, and we're trying to pay attention to each one to make it really awesome.
- The bar will be built long enough to have room for several people to sit comfortably at the bar, and there will be a separate counter section for retail purchases. The goal is to avoid the awkward experience of squeezing between people sitting at the bar to order drinks and pay your tab and to make it easy for folks who just want to stop in quickly and grab some beer to go.
- Almost all our tables will be high-top, oversized cocktail tables, allowing up to 4 people to sit comfortably at each and accommodate standing. We think this will go a long way to help the flow when we're crowded. We will also have one or two standard-height tables to accommodate handicapped guests and others who will be more comfortable at a standard height table.
- We're making room for retail shopping away from the seating area, so you don't have to squeeze between tables to get to the beer on the shelves.
- There are two bathrooms, so hopefully you won't have to wait in line very long, even when we're busy.
- We're adding a (very small) walk-in cooler, big enough to keep a handful of kegs cold. This means that if we run out of a beer, we can easily and quickly swap it out without having to wait 24 hours for the next keg to cool down to serving temperature.
- All of the lighting will either be LED or have UV filters installed, helping to prevent any of the beer on our shelves from getting light-struck and skunky.
- With so many beer styles out there, we know it will be hard to implement an organization structure ideal for every customer. We're planning our shelving layout to make it as easy as possible to find the beer you're looking for, and it's a priority of ours to have clear signage.
Below is a quick snap snot of the preliminary plans. Let us know what you think or what features you most enjoy about a craft beer store/bar, as some things are still a bit fluid at this point!
Also, here's a photo that Richard Mitchell snapped for us at the space. A true "before" shot.