Design Of Nightclubs

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The design of nightclubs is not supposed to be an accident. There are some basic reasoning and theories behind it.

You see, there are reasons for some things in design night clubs. And when you hire an architect to draw plans for you, or if you do them yourself, there are many things to consider. Generally, because an architect has never been in the nightclub business, he really doesn’t know specific things you need. He is just drawing plans according to what you ask him to put in.

In the design of nightclubs, if you have little experience in night club operations, you are not going to do it correctly because you don’t understand the nightclubs needs. If you talk to anyone who has built a nightclub, you will often hear the say, “I wish I would of allowed room for this”, or “ I can’t believe I didn’t figure this in”.

Because of costs in the design of nightclubs sometimes, or because of vanity, people won’t interfere with the way the club looks. They are proud of their design and are not going to change just for storage, and that’s that! Wrong!

If you love your nightclub design, but don’t include necessities, you have designed it wrong, and will have club maintenance issues. Period.

Got a piece of paper and a pencil? OK. Let’s get started.

Hold on, hold on, I got to get a cookie and a cup of coffee.

OK. I’m back. Where were we? Oh ya. Getting started. Most people who tackle the design of night clubs leave out essentials that have to do with day to day operations. The first subject to address would be a general utility room. You know, a room that will store your vacuums, squeegees, mops, brooms, shovels, dust pans, cleaning supplies, rags, and most important, a mop sink.


Now here is what happens when you don’t include this in the design of nightclubs. The stuff is everywhere! No one can find anything. These items are scattered everywhere. The broom is behind the kitchen door, no one can find the dust pan, the vacuum is in your office, and you empty you dirty mop water in you kitchen or bar sink!

Understand now? You see, I do realize you don’t want to give up space many times, but this is essential! You use these items many times in the course of a day. So do yourself a favor and make sure you put in a general utility room in your night club. And make it decent size so you can put in a shelving rack to keep things neat and off the floor. As you can see, nightclub design is a lot of common sense.

The next thing to add in your design of nightclubs is a promotion room. You see, in the course of time you will go through different holidays and promotions. Many of these things can be expensive. And, you want to save these items so you don’t have to start over next year. Furthermore, if you save these items, and add more each year, you not only will accumulate a lot of good stuff, but your club will look really great with all that stuff.

I know you are wondering what items I’m talking about. Let’s see. Valentines Day, Presidents Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. That’s a lot of holiday decorations! And that’s just off the top of my head. I haven’t mentioned birthday parties, promotions, etc.

Now where in the hell are you going to put all this stuff?? You’’ try in put it on a shelf in your office, or some stuff will end up on top of an ice machine or kitchen refrigerator, or behind the bar. And the most frequent place you will find it, is in the garbage! So when next year when you go looking for the stuff you paid a fortune for, and you can’t find it, boy will you be pissed.

I know these are not exciting subjects, but we have to talk about them in the design of nightclubs. They are essential.

The next item on the list of design of nightclubs is pop storage. Depending on what part of the country you’re from, soda storage. Most clubs use a post mix pop system to distribute pop, and in some cases, juices. These boxes can be heavy, need rotated, and take up room. You’ll find that when a bar is built, no room is really left for the rack these boxes sit on. And we haven’t talked about the back up boxes either.

Remember one thing about this storage, it has to be easy accessible. Some night clubs run the lines and set up the racks in the basement, if you have one. That’s ok if the basement is easily accessible. If it takes you twenty minutes to get there and change an empty, you got problems. Design the bar so one end can accommodate these. Or, if you have a horse shoe bar, build a storage room that the open end of the bar attaches to.



Be creative. Design of night clubs is not rocket science. Be flexible. But this is vitally important not to have a problem here. Remember, you make money from drinks. And many require pop or soda as a mix. If you can’t change an empty fast, you are making customers, and your bartenders, mad. You don’t want to do that!

Next on the list would be dry goods storage. Dry goods are straws, napkins, glasses, mixes, cups, light bulbs, extra bar tools, etc. These take up a lot of room, and we haven’t even mentioned any food supply dry goods. If you can, make one room for all of it if it can be centrally located and have easy access. You will probably have to keep the food supplies dry goods nearer to the kitchen.

So far we have a small list of rooms in your night club maybe you didn’t originally figure on. And they do take up square footage on your design. So if you are looking at a location that you think is the perfect size for you, think again. Let’s continue.

Now we need to talk about beer and liquor storage. Depending on the size of your nightclub and how many people you can hold, these rooms can tend to be large. Especially the beer room. The liquor is stored on shelves and don’t have to be rotated. The beer is generally stacked in rows on the floor and you need to rotate you stock. And between the sheer number of different varieties of beer, not to mention the coolers, you are going to need some space here.

As you can see, the design of night clubs isn’t cut and dry, and you need to keep these things in mind when you sit down and start roughing in a general design.


I know talking about the room stuff isn’t very exciting, but it is essential.

Let’s change direction here. Now let’s talk about your entry. The entry is a real important part of your design. It reflects on what’s inside. It also is where you charge your cover, check ID’s, and have security guards. Also, when you have a problem and need to speak with customers, you need room for that also. This is also where all your customers come in and out, and that is a lot of traffic!

Also, in the design of nightclubs, many times the entry is the location of a pay phone, a cigarette machine, ATM’s, and promotional items, cardboard stand ups, in house advertising. All too many times the entry is robbed of space. As you can see, there is a lot going on here. Cutting space here will come and haunt you. Don’t do it! The design of night clubs will come natural to you in time. Don’t let it intimidate you.

You didn’t think you were going lose this much space in the entry, did you?

Now we come to the bathrooms. Talking about losing space. You will need to find out what your local code is regarding how many fixtures is required to install based on you occupancy. And, with abiding to the ADA (American Disabilities Act) rules, bathrooms can tend to be quite large. And if you are like everyone else, the bathrooms are one thing that everyone talks about. Seriously! Don’t cut corners here. They will cost you boo koo bucks too. Locating them in the whole scheme of things, can be tough too.

You see, it’s not so much the installation of the water supply lines, (hot and cold water) it’s the drain lines that can be a problem. Drains for the toilets and sinks operate on gravity. So they have to have enough fall, or in lay terms, slope toward the main drain to connect, not to mention the vent line. Many times, to reach the specs required for installation if the bathrooms, they have to be placed in a certain spot. And it probably won’t be in the spot you want them to be in. I know, back to the drawing board.

Size does matter! Bar size that is. Your bar has to be large enough to be able to serve your customers. Did you ever go out and tell someone that you went out last night and went to xyz bar and couldn’t get a drink? See what I mean. This is where you make your money. If you can’t get them a drink in which they want to buy, you make no money and make a customer mad. This is a lose, lose situation.


Also, in your design of nightclubs, don’t make bartenders share a work station. Each bartender needs an ice bin and a cash register to themselves. So your bar has to be good size to accommodate your crowd and the amount of equipment that has to go back there. Also, remember what we talked about with the bathrooms, the plumbing? Well, plumbing issues will have to be resolved here also to determine the bar placement.

Ok, down to the dance floor. Don’t put this in a corner or against a wall! The dance floor should be placed in a location where people can actually walk around all sides of it. We are talking about flow. People like to watch people on the dance floor. If you give them only one side to do that, you’ll have a clog in you isle way. (A large group of people that are standing on the one side looking at the dance floor). You create a bottle neck. You don’t want that!

Make sure you have at least six feet of isle on each side of the dance floor. This enables people to walk around it. It creates movement. This nightclub design works!

And before I forget, you need to allow room so you can make additional revenue streams. You have to review this page. Don’t leave money on the table. Make sure you save space for this.

Also in the design of nightclubs, you should build in small raised areas, that are really not too noticeable, for security personnel to stand on. This gives them a birds eye view of the crowd. This is real important when you are hosting a few hundred to a couple thousand people. Don’t make them obvious, in the design of nightclubs, you need to make things functional many times, but not unsightly.

What we have talked about is areas that you need to incorporate into the design of nightclubs. As far as the actual look of your night club, that’s up to your imagination. I know that is kinda of vague.

Road trips are invaluable to the design of nightclubs. Not to copy someone else’s place, please. Be original. But but looking at pictures of the design of night clubs, you can get ideas. It sparks thought. You can then incorporate those ideas with a little tweaking, and make an original idea of your own.

Balconies are always a favorite in the design of nightclubs. It sets apart seating here from the rest of the club. Make sure the stairs to your balconies are a minimum of four foot wide. This enables easy access to and fro. There are really reasons, for the design of nightclubs.

I have always like to incorporate an island and a round table into the construction of a bar. I think they work well for all sorts of things, they are neat to look at,and generally customers like to sit in these areas of the bar. It is hard to explain, but if you are going to building a new bar and want to see what I’m talking about, contact me and I’ll e-mail you a rough sketch of what I’m talking about. It’s neat to add for the design of nightclubs.

And go from there. These were the things to incorporate. Now YOU need to make it look great! It’s really not that hard. Do your homework. In your design of nightclubs, go on some road trips, look at pictures, etc. Incorporate raised areas, add smaller rooms inside, make a vip room, make some real cozy spots, etc.

Remember one thing though. In the design of nightclubs, although there are beautiful nightclubs in Miami, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles, it’s not reality for the majority of us. These locations are unique. Ninety nine percent of the rest of us operate in a different world. Remember that. The whole trick is to get ideas, tear them apart, put in something from something else you saw, make it bigger, or maybe smaller. Just make it your own. You, of all people, knows what trips the trigger of the customers in your community. So do it!

Best wishes,
Ned

Design of nightclubs is part of starting a nightclub, so click here for more information.

Nightclub Designers:

http://www.nightclub-design.com/

http://www.johnrobbinteriors.co.u/nightclub%20interior%20design.htm

http://www.bigtimedesignstudios.com/

http://www.misterimportant.com/

www.nightclub-design.com/intro.html

www.maxeyhayse.com/nightclub_design.html

Filed Under: Bar / Nightclub DesignNightclub Business

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  1. […] I know that when you are in the process of building a night club, and you are contemplating the design of your nightclub, looking at what other people have done, gives you a little […]

  2. […] Remember, you are already paying for the space. While you are there, you might as well make as much additional night club profits that you can! Another source of added income other then vending profits is a party store that is incorporated into your night club. Added profit centers, like vending profits, need to be considered into your initial design. […]

  3. The success of a Nite Club is a project with many variables location, occupancy costs, decore, staffing and training, marketing and space planning.
    Space planning or the clubs layout should be by far the first and foremost step in any development. Can the space be adapted to the concept in mind, does the space support the activity.
    Engaging the guest in a varity of activities is how we make regulars. They stop in on Tuesdays to play NTN, they throw darts on Monday night, they meet interesting people on the smoking patio,
    they like the DJ Fridays, they participate in activies at the club and the club becomes part of what they do.
    Too many young developers after a trip to Vegas want to build a mega club (with full bottle service and luxury couches) in Des Moines when a well planned, fun club would dominate.
    The space planning of a room should be the first step in the design. yet it is usually
    the least considered.
    Lets leave the bar there, get new furnitue and paint the place is a mantra for failure in the on-sale beverage business.

  4. Gear Knobs : says:

    cleaning supplies should be environment friendly too, choose cleaning supplies which does not harm the environment*,,

  5. Jonny Lenius says:

    I read your article. What do you mean islands on or around a bar?

  6. Katya says:

    Hi! I am going to be opening my own teen club soon in GA and love your website. It really gives me an open mind to how much space I need to consider. I read that you could send me a rough sketch, that would be very helpful. Thanks.

  7. Brandi says:

    I am interested in opening a teen club and this website was wonderful. thank you. I dont want it to be just a dance club, I want it to be a safe place for the kids to come hang out, show their talents, meet friends and have fun. I’m hoping for this to work out and with your help I think it will :)

  8. fellow designer says:

    add these guys to your list of designers, http://www.bigtimedesignstudios.com/ Big Time Design. they have a great portfolio.

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