Thinking of setting up a bar in Dallas, but aren’t sure where to start? Here are some suggestions to help you on your way.

Find Your Theme

Are you mainly serving craft beer or cocktails? Is your future bar a dance venue or a place where people can sit back and chat? Your vision for it doesn’t need to be set in stone, but try figuring out the general vibe of your bar early, and decorate accordingly.

Location Matters

Dallas is a big place, meaning you have a lot of options when it comes to neighborhoods: if you want to bring in a lot of live jazz and blues music acts, Deep Ellum might be your best bet, for example. Sometimes picking a bar located just depends on where property space is available, but try researching the neighborhood to get a feel for what’s trendy.

Know Your Licenses

Getting a liquor license in Dallas, TX is, like in the rest of the state, famously complex. Yet alcohol transactions in Texas require them, and they differ depending on whether you own a bar, work there as a server, or are selling alcohol at a convenience store. Make sure you and all your employees have the proper permits and licenses. Furthermore, keep in mind that any distributor selling alcohol to you must have a license that allows them to sell within the state—and the same applies to manufacturers from other states. The Texas Tribune has a helpful rundown of many of the knotty details involving Texas alcohol laws.

If It’s Too Hard… Look for Outside Help

And if you find those laws too complicated (you wouldn’t be the first), seek out alcohol beverage consulting companies to help you through the ropier requirements. If you want a little free advice first, talk to the owner of any well-established Dallas bar, as they’ve likely had to go through the process themselves.

Once you’ve figured these things out, you should be good to go. Best of luck, and happy serving!

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