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Cigar/Martini/Jazz bar.....where do we begin????

vtlaw10vtlaw10 subscriber Posts: 1
edited May 2010 in Business Planning
My business partner and I are looking to open a plush and upscale blues/martini/jazz/cigar bar in New Orleans sometime in the next few years but have no idea where to begin, who to contact, how to estimate how much start up capital we will need from the SBA, if we shuld be getting cost estimates from contractors or even drawing up blueprints yet. We are very new to this but have been talking about doing it for years and finally want to get the ball rolling and need to know the very first things we need to start doing. Any help is greatly appreciated!


  • DavidDavid subscriber Posts: 3
    How much experience do you have?  I`m assuming from the context of what you said that you and your partner have done something similiar to this or have experience with running a bar.  The jazz/blues may not work entirely with the cigar but the martinis mesh well with the ambience.
    You`ll have to get details from the SBA but they and the state are offering additional incentives for starting a business in New Orleans in the next year or so.  The first and most important question is if you really want to do it.  Do you envision yourself putting in the time week after week doing the paperwork and being hospitable to customers even when profits seem months away?  Or is your vision still too vague to nail down? 
    If your answer`s the former, then you should start taking a look at economic maps and commercial maps of New Orleans to know where most of the bars are and where most of the jazz-loving crowd lives, works, and relaxes.  Getting an estimate of your business is more important than getting an estimate for contractors. 
    Link up with a reputable real estate firm and find a good site that isn`t too much of a fixer-upper and is in the right neighborhood.  (This is assuming you`re not building everything from scratch.)  Once the site is yours, you can get your estimates for supplies and renovation, do the floor plan and then approach the SBA or investors.  With the higher interest rates of a SBA-backed loan, you may be able to find investors, banks, or private firms who can offer you a better rate.  I recommend you see if there`s any business-minded or restaurant/bar-minded people you know who can help you.
    If your answer is the latter, then talk things over again with your partner.  It may help to have the general floor plan, specifics of your bar`s offerings, and the general idea of your bar`s preferred clientele in mind before you embark on a more costly step such as real estate or applying for loans.  There are no end of books on starting a small business from the more general such as those the more germaine.
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    vtlaw10, David is correct... Just how much do you know about running a bar? Just how much do you know about cigars?  I don`t know about the cigar thing since most states are prohibiting smoking inside a public place. This might kill your business down the line if New Orleans, decides to enforce such law. Secondly, you have to look at a liquor license <--- very expensive to get and to many laws and background checks... as for the Jazz, I love jazz, but how much do you know about it? What is your expertise in any of the 3 categories you are trying to start your business in other than Listening to Jazz, loving Martinis, and cigars? my best bet before you launch such place, go work part time at a bar, learn the ups and downs and see if this is what you want to do for the rest of your life. You will soon find out if what you  are focusing in will work for you.
  • TrueGRITSTrueGRITS subscriber Posts: 3
    I`m just starting out also, and next to these other posters, my advice is very simple: read SUN`s 10 Steps to Open for Business.  That`s all the roadmap you need to get started
  • infiniqueinfinique subscriber Posts: 0 Member
    Starting a bar is a big business. You require at least 400K to start off with the initial renovation cost, rental, inventory etc. It's probably not a wise thing to do if you've not been in this field before as hiring the right people, doing the necessary marketing is crucial later.
  • smith360smith360 subscriber Posts: 1
    The day to
    day operations of your Bar Business can be overwhelming, if
    you don't have some type of system.

    A Business
    System is what makes a business run in an expedient manner.

    You will need
    to create a Bar Business Plan System that will work for your
    Bar Business.

    A Bar
    Business Plan System is the way you
    operate your business. This system should include a plan of
    operation for every aspect of your Bar Business.
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