How to Start a Sports Bar and Grill in New York

One of the things you will discover when planning to open a sports bar and grill business is that you require lots of permits and licenses. Besides coping with the red tape, you should also acquire suppliers, staff, and the necessary equipment. Often, the regulatory requirements are usually complex once you start a bar business since alcohol sales are susceptible to strict government supervision. Here, we will focus on the primarily on the essential elements you need for your bar and grill business.

1. Permits and licenses

You will require an Internal Revenue Service’s employer identification number before applying for any other permits and licenses. Apply for EIN over the internet at Local and state governments control restaurants, and every state has its set of rules. You will also require a liquor license to start a bar. Therefore your first stop will be at the alcohol control agency of your state. Allow a few months for the process of application and approval. Liquor licenses vary contingent on whether you intend to offer wine and beer or serve distilled liquor as well as mixed drinks.

You should also apply for a food service license and organize for a health inspection several weeks before you open the business. Your local fire department should also inspect the business premises and issue you with an occupancy permit. You also require a business license, which is typically a tax number given by your county or city department of taxation. While applying for these licenses, ask questions. You might discover that additional permits and licenses are needed.

2. Dining and bar room

The dining and bar rooms are more than little customer service spaces. The layout and décor will significantly determine the atmosphere that your customers will experience. Some décors can be expensive and elegant in some restaurants, but a town bar and grill can merely get adorned with work from local artists which is reasonably affordable. The décor you select will depend on the target market and your dining concept.


3. The Bar and Dining Room

The bar and dining room are more than just customer service areas. The decor and layout determine the atmosphere that customers experience. The decor can be stylish and costly in some restaurants, but you can decorate your bar and grill using some local artists’ creativity that will be relatively affordable. The decor you choose will depend on the target market and your dining concept as well.

4. Kitchen equipment

The equipment you need to establish a grill should be commercial quality to withstand the heavy use as well meet safety and health standards. At least, you need a stove, grill, and deep-fat fryers. Contingent on your menu, you might also require several ovens. The other basic equipment you need includes a prep table, steam table, coolers, freezers, a commercial dishwasher, shelves, and sinks. Equipping your kitchen is probably the most costly part of this project, and you can consider purchasing some used items at hotel equipment auctions.

5. Restaurant Staff

Skilled and reliable employees are crucial to any business. You should be selective when hiring both kitchen servers and staff. Since you are starting a new sports bar and grill, ensure that you employ experienced staff to start. You can also hire people who are new to the industry and train them, but it’s good to wait until your bar and grill business is up and running for a couple of months.


Cash flow is everything in every business. Spend as little as possible on the construction of the premises and interior design because it can be a considerable expense. Avoid tying up lots of money that could serve you better by covering future back-of-house salaries or future rent in renovations. After all, you can update the premises after the first year of your business.