In the first book of its kind, award-winning bar operator Chall Gray leads readers through an overview of the complicated world that is bar ownership. The Cocktail Bar: Notes for an Owner & Operator covers everything from conceiving an initial idea for a bar to managing a successful and profitable operation. “A much needed book,” according to cocktail and bar industry legend Dale Degroff, this accessible guide is a must read for any aspiring bar owner or restaurateur.
In The Cocktail Bar: Notes for an Owner & Operator, Chall Gray begins by walking readers through how to hone in and define an initial idea into a fully-formed concept. From there the sections on planning touch on everything from real estate selection, partnerships, cocktail list planning and pricing, the structure and standards of service, tips for selecting architects and contractors, design, the importance of a business plan and pro-formas, and many other areas.
“One of my goals with the book was to provide new and prospective owners a resource, and way to avoid some of the painful and costly lessons that I, and many other owners I spoke with, have gone through,” Gray said.
As readers progress through the opening and operations phases, consideration is given to the construction process, hiring, training, accounting practices, operational systems, staff communications, and a myriad of other topics. Gray’s interview subjects included the operators behind some of the top cocktail bars in the country, including 2018 James Beard Award winner Cure, Trick Dog in San Francisco, PDT in New York, Polite Provisions in San Diego and many others.