How to Set Up a Coffee Bar

For adults who loathe the club or traditional bar scene, coffee bars are an excellent nightlife alternative. Coffee bars are often open late and typically filled with musicians and other entertainers. They’re also an excellent and safe venue for business meetings and dates. When setting up your coffee bar, the atmosphere is as equally important as the coffee and espresso served.

Become a skilled barista if you are not already. Undergo training via a training course or employment at a coffee shop to learn the ins and outs of creating consistent flavor time and again. Making espresso is a complicated process that requires the right amount of grinding and pressure before you can create the perfect shot. Learn to make the perfect foam, which ingredients work best, brewing temperatures and different coffee roasts.

Train your employees on the quality and flavor that you want your coffees and espresso to offer. A great and consistent coffee will keep your customers coming back. Botch a drink even one time, and your customer may walk for good.

Design a menu for your coffee bar. Visit local caterers and bakeries in your area to purchase pastries, sandwiches, sushi, soup and breakfast sandwiches. Contact bottled juice and water suppliers to purchase bulk beverages.

Purchase a menu board, pastry display cases, grinders, tampers, stainless steel frothing pitchers, frothing thermometers, filters, brewers and the espresso machine. The Mazzer Mini is a highly rated espresso grinder and costs just under $600 (see Resources). When looking for commercial espresso machines consider the Pasquini Livia 90 espresso machine or the Vibiemme Domobar Super (see Resources). Both are about $1800.

Design your store. Purchase bar stools, a microphone for your musicians, saucers, mugs, artwork, lighting, and paint. Hire local artists to help design your store. You could also allow local artists to sell their work at your coffee bar. Buy bookcases and fill them with used books, playing cards and board games.

Place an ad in the entertainment section of your paper that your coffee bar is looking to host musicians, artists and performers.


  • Advertise your coffee bar by registering with the Chamber of Commerce. Get involved in the community by attending or sponsoring charity events, post kid’s artwork on your walls, have a bulletin board that customers and other businesses can utilize.