Opinions, bakery and bar?

Joined Dec 1, 2010
I had an idea just recently about having a bakery during the day and it turning into a bar at night. What do you guys think?
Joined Aug 13, 2006
I have no commercial abilities, so my advice should be taken with a grain of salt, but i do know something about people.

Generally, when something is designed to do two very different functions, you end up with something that does neither well. 

You make a tool that opens bottles and squashes garlic, and you have a tool that is not going to work right.  (I have one, i didn;t realize it was also a bottle opener when i bought it).  The metal used for a garlic press can be softer metal, while a bottle opener has to be strong.  Using it for bottles (we don;t have screw top here) after a while it cracked.  Also, psychologically, the idea of mixing your garlic press and your beer bottle really doesn't go. 

A bakery is where kids go to get cupcakes, where families go to get birthday cakes, where people go and get a coffee and a muffin before work, it has a certain atmosphere, a certain brightness and cleanness.  A bar is where people go to drink, many go to get drunk, they may throw up in the bathroom.  Ok, you can have a more high-end bar (sophisticated on the outside, but people can still throw up in the bathroom!), but still you want to create a whole different atmosphere there.  (I'm presuming by "bar" you mean a place serving primarily alcohol.  In italy a coffee bar is called a bar, it serves primarily coffee, despite the array of hard alcohol bottles lining the wall, and you go in with your kids to get a juice and a sweet.  The idea of the dark bar where people go to get drunk is a whole different thing.  Likewise the pub in the UK can also be a family place, where food is served, and kids are just not allowed to go up to the bar, but get served at the tables.)  American bars are drinking places. 

I think you contaminate the bar idea with the bakery and the bakery idea with the bar. 

Finally, when are you planning to sleep?  From what i understand bars are open till the early morning hours, and bakers have to start baking in the early morning hours. 
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Joined Jan 20, 2011
I honestly believe it is a bad idea. You would lose a lot of business with people who are not drinkers. I am one who maybe drinks on a blue moon, but I would feel like a bad parents if the place I take my child to during the day is the same place that at home you get all kinds of people coming in and out touching everything. Working as a 911 dispatcher I hear first hand what goes on in bars and honestly I wish there were some way of closing them down. There is an exception to this though, I enjoy going into an upper class bar from time to time. Those places have very little crime and people usually know when to stop. I hope this helps.
Joined Jan 8, 2008
I can see this in a very niche market, maybe in a big city like NYC. Gimmicy, but might do well.   I can invision something like momofuku Milk Bar having an actual bar.

Heck, they have full on 'dessert' bars (google 'spot dessert bar nyc')

I think idea wise....not bad, could work. Licensing permit, etc. etc. wise, might be a pita.
Joined May 22, 2010
"There is an exception to this though, I enjoy going into an upper class bar from time to time. Those places have very little crime and people usually know when to stop. I hope this helps."Maybe fewer fights... but "less" crime? Not so much. You want designer drugs? You go where the big money is changing hands... not to the corner pub. And, a martini is just a "classy" way to drink straight liquor, no different than drinking out of the bottle. A drunk is a drunk... regardless of how much they pay for their drinks, or what they are drinking.As for the original question? I'm gonna toss my $0.02 in the "bad idea" jar. The two concepts are too far removed from one another.
Joined Aug 26, 2010
I think you need to define the concept a little more tightly.  For instance, when you said "bakery", I immediately thought breads.  Obviously, others have leaned toward different bakery goods. 

You have to find some way to integrate the two.  I don't believe that running business A in the daytime and business B in the evening will work very well.  While a sports arena can have basketball one night and hockey the next, the underlying business is one of hosting sporting events.  You might be able to shift focus as many restaurants do -- food during the day (with availability of drinks) and drinks at night (with the availability of food).  They do both things all the time, but clearly the business lunch crowd orders a lot more iced tea than beer. 

You might even be able to run your dream business of a bar at night in a location with a large commercial kitchen and use that space during the day as a bakery that delivers to other businesses (artisan breads to restaurants, doughnuts to convenience stores, etc).  However, again, you need to define a scope of what exactly "bakery" means to you. 
Joined Oct 10, 2005
Bars make money, and that's what attracts you, right?

Full bar license is, as others have said, a PITA.  Don't know about where you are, but here, you need a neighborhood review, and then all the necesary infrastrucure requirements (full kitchen supplying hot, a'la minute food, X urinals per male washroom, X stalls per female, fire exits galore, etc. etc.)

Now, what could work is a limited liquor license, what we call here a "B" permit or a wine and beer license.  No neighborhood reviews, no infrastruture upgrades, but then again, no Bar.  You can have a full dessert menu, and sell classy wines, beers, and, it think, liquers,  but no hard liquor.  People at 9 pm are willing to pay 10 or even 15 bucks for a very nice plated dessert and then again for some nice wine.  This  is a pretty good compromise and can help sell your bakery during the day.

Think carefully, those liquor boys are called "rain makers" by your local municipality, and they make it rain with fees, levys, surcharges, fines, and taxes.
Joined Jul 28, 2001
combine the two.

A very upscale trendy bar that serves alcohol in all sorts of pastry vessels. sugar, chocolate, etc

Pastries and chocolates made with booze. Champagne cake, Grand Marnier, etc
Joined Apr 27, 2010
[quote name="abefroman" url="/forum/thread/63918/opinions-bakery-and-bar#post_338680"]A wine and bread bar sounds like a good idea.[/quote]

Now that sounds like a dream come true for me (although I don't actually drink that much wine). We have a bakery in San Francisco which is exclusively a bakery but they bake their bread in the afternoon so when folks are on their way home from work they can pick up a loaf. I would certainly love to stop by for a loaf of bread and a little glass of wine after work.
Joined Dec 1, 2010
I appreciate all the feedback. I apologize for the delayed response. I wasn't sure if I felt it could work or not, again it was just an idea. I do agree that I think business would be lost with families, and themnot wanting to bring their children to a place that becomes a bar after a certain time. I used to work in a hotel that locked up their alcohol and then opened after a certain and served alcohol along with their food. And I was thinking of something similar. But I also do think that it would be a bit to different of crowds to bring together. Also my definition of a bakery I suppose is more desserts then breads. Bar is a tricky word to use. It automatically assumed that their is alcohol.  I do like the idea of calling a place a dessert bar. That doesn't serve alcohol during the day but after 5pm, or so it would serve alcohol, along with its desserts.
Joined Jan 27, 2010
My thoughts.

How about a specialty bar? A place where people can come and try craft beers from around the world. Belgium Lambics, English Ales, and South American Lagers, all brewed to feature the craft of brewing beer. Have one or two on tap, and a small or large (depending on available capital) selection of beers people can purchase and bring home with perhaps a paired loaf of bread or dessert. A bar like this just opened in my town, and it is a nice addition to the high amount of bars in town, where people go to drink. Furthermore, if you have or want to delve into the world of home brewing, you could eventually or right off the bat, brew your own and have that on tap.

Good luck!
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