Cost of Opening a Sports Bar

Are you the kind of fan who lives and breathes sports of every kind? Consider putting that passion to work by opening your own sports bar! If you have sufficient financial resources, opening a sports bar could prove to be a dream job that allows you to make a good living while doing something you love. Sports bars range widely in sizes and styles so it can be difficult to generalize the cost of opening a sports bar, but the approximate cost of opening a mid-size sports bar is around $200,000. The following guide details the specific expenses you will face when opening your sports bar:

Opening a Sports Bar

Cost of Opening a Sports Bar

Liquor License, Fees, and Business Permits: $20,000 and up
Depending on the location you choose, a license to serve alcohol could prove to be your largest start-up expense. Specific regulations vary from state to state and even from county to county, with many counties having a liquor license quota. If a quota system is in effect in your area, your only option may be to purchase a license from an establishment that is closing their doors. Prices can rise to astronomical levels with sufficient demand – one liquor license that was sold in New Jersey went for $1.5 million!

Rent and Deposits: $15,000 to $25,000 (based on $5,000 a month rent)
Most building owners will require you sign a lease agreement that includes payment of two or three months’ rental deposit, as well as one month’s rent in advance. If you need to make significant renovations to the property, it could be a month or two before your sports bar can open; add the rent you need to pay during that time to your figures. Certain services, such as utilities, cable/satellite, etc., will require deposits as well.

Renovation/Interior Design: $40,000
Most properties require a certain amount of renovation, but be aware that build-out costs can quickly escalate and drain your start-up capital. You can avoid this by consulting with an experienced professional to plan the layout of your sports bar and hiring contractors who have solid reputations for providing quality work in a timely manner.

Furniture, Fittings, and Equipment: $90,000
Everything you need to outfit your sports bar is included in this category. Depending on the audio/visual equipment and sports memorabilia you choose, the total cost of outfitting your sports bar may run considerably higher. The main items in this category include:

  • Seating
  • Lighting
  • Wall Decorations
  • Bar
  • Sports Bar POS
  • Audio/Visual Equipment
  • Pool Table
  • Dishes, Glasses, etc.
  • Signage

Initial Beverage/Food Stock: $22,000
An overly ambitious menu with a vast selection of drink and food choices can require an excessive investment of capital; if you are planning to offer a limited menu, this amount should enable you to have a comfortably stocked bar and kitchen.

Marketing, Advertising, and Grand Opening: $2,000
Your marketing campaign should begin at least one to two months before your sports bar opens, leading up to a full-court press the week before your launch. Make full use of social media to engage customers and generate buzz for your sports bar’s Grand Opening.

Miscellaneous Expenses: $18,000
Legal services, staff training and payroll, accounting, insurance, etc.

Opening a sports bar can be an expensive undertaking, but Pinnacle Hospitality Systems is here to help, with two affordable Sports Bar POS solutions! Packed with a rich mix of bar and table features, Pinnacle’s  versatile POS for sports bars include advanced menu features, integrated credit card processing, payroll and scheduling functionality, and much more! Contact Pinnacle today at 800-771-7100 to discover all the ways Pinnacle’s sports bar point of sale solutions can help ensure your success!

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