Everything You Need to Know About High Concept Bars

Most people’s idea of a bar could be a cozy comfortable place where people come together and have drinks. People could think about bars as a loud place with a raw-feel, where energies are high and memories are made.

Both of these ideas are valid, and there are many types of these bars around. Apart from these two though, people would be surprised to find out that there are many other different kinds of bars.

For now, we’ll check out one type of bar called the high concept bar.

Defining High Concept

The term “high concept” is often attributed to novels, television shows, or movies. A high concept story is one that can be pitched with ease, utilizing a premise that is fairly straightforward and succinct.

Examples of high concept novels include Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and even Harry Potter. Can you guess the pitch for these? All of these novels ride the line of “battle for good and evil”. The setting may be different – like fantasy, wizards, jedis and siths – but this is the succinct high concept they follow.

There is also something called “low concept” stories. As opposed to high concept, low concept stories are those that can’t be directly explained with a straightforward premise. Instead, these are novels that focus on the development of characters and certain subtleties.

Defining High Concept

So what do you think a high concept bar would be like?

Just like the novels and stories, a high concept bar is one that is built upon a strong and well-themed idea. As such, the theme provides a nice draw for people, as they would want to be immersed in something a little bit different than the normal bars.

They may even like being immersed in the theme or idea being portrayed. In a way, it is a unique experience. Many high concept bars use certain themes from novels, movies, art, and they may even base it on some musical acts.

Although these bars transport people to a certain time, place, and mindset, that doesn’t mean that service should be anything but of modern quality.

If the idea of the high concept bar is attractive to you and you are looking to open one, here are a few things that you should keep in mind. Here is everything you need to know about high concept bars.

High Concept Bar Tips

Theme is Everything

The first tip we’ll start off with focuses on the theme of the bar. For starters, you’ll want to select the right theme for your bar.

You may be passionate about certain movies, books, and bands or singers. However, if the theme you choose doesn’t resonate with people or the location where you plan to put the bar up, it may not stay open long enough for customers to appreciate it.

For this, you really need to have your finger on the pulse of the land. Find a theme that works well for the location you are in. This ensures that there will be many people who would want to visit your high concept bar.

If you are really passionate about a certain theme though, then nobody should ever deter you from doing what you really want to do. You should just be aware of the consequences that were just mentioned.

For themes or high concepts that aren’t as well known to the public, you could consider campaigning to make it more known or famous. Perhaps start a social media page or account that talks about the bar. You could use this to post certain things about the theme you selected.

This will allow you to introduce the concept and garner more interest. The more people know, the more likely people will frequent your bar.

Bar Theme, not Themed Bar

For high concept bars, it may be easy to get caught up with the theme that you have chosen. If you are passionate about it, it may become the sole focus of preparations.

However, the one thing that high concept bar owners need to remember is that it should be a bar theme, and not a themed bar.

Owners must take into consideration that it is a bar first and foremost. Don’t get caught up in all the theme preparations and designs before you have a fully functioning bar with all the pieces of equipment, personnel, and other things.

Theme the Products

When applying a theme to a bar, some people may think that it is enough to just have the bar look the part. However, there is something else that you can do to ensure that people are fully immersed in the theme that you present.

The tip here is to ensure that the products you have on the menu are themed as well. If you are using a Harry Potter theme, perhaps theme your cocktails with the potions that the Potter universe uses. Maybe even some dishes aligned with creatures that people know from the series.

Doing so will create a more well-rounded themed bar that immerses the customers even more and gives them a better experience.

Roll with the Punches

When opening up a high concept bar, it will be quite difficult to provide an exciting experience that includes the theme that you choose.

As such, the tip we are giving here is to just go ahead and do it, and to roll with the punches. There is no real manual or guidelines that ensure a successful high concept bar. All you can do is prepare everything, make sure you provide everything the customers need, and apply the theme as best as you can.

If it doesn’t work out the first time, what you gain is valuable experience that you can apply as your bar continues its operations. Roll with the punches and look for the right counterpunch that will knock out the problems and pave your way to success.

Sky’s the Limit

Sky's the Limit

In the end, a high concept bar is one that not only provides all the amenities and libations that a normal bar does. It is also a bar that shares one of your passions and even presents a unique experience to customers.

If you want to check out other high concept bars to check out how they did it, you’ll find that there is no short supply of them.

One good one is called The Lovecraft and it is located in Portland, Oregon. As the name suggests, this high concept bar is one that honors famed author H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft is the author who wrote about the ancient squid god Cthulhu (and if you haven’t read about Cthulhu, you are in for a treat).

The bar follows Lovecraft’s horror vibes, and it feels like the bar is in Halloween mode the whole year round.

Another good example is Gotham City Lounge in Brooklyn. As you might have already guessed, this is a bar with comic book panels splayed throughout the walls. It is the bar for comic book enthusiasts to gather and enjoy.

No matter what theme you decide on, the sky’s the limit. All it takes is some hard work and perseverance. We wish you luck with your own high concept bar.

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