Bar layouts vary so much from bar to bar that it is somewhat impossible to list a truly valid set of features that would be consistent throughout the world of bartending. However, certain types of bars carry with them certain characteristics that would allow for a number of applicable examples. Below is a general list of bar types and the most commonly used bar layouts in professional bartending.
Pubs & Taverns
The most common type of establishment in the western world is arguably the most common because of it's familiarity. The bar layout is a unique selling point to this kind of establishment that brings customers back for the familiarity from Dublin to Bombay. This bar layout is heavily based on tradition and changes only slightly over time in establishments still run as pubs today.
The most prominent feature of this bar layout are the cabinets of liquors set into the posterior wall behind the back bar. While this style may vary, most available options for spirits being marketed to the customer are placed here. It is not uncommon for spirit bottles to be wall-mounted on inverted decanters but will nevertheless be located here in the majority of cases. Second to this, the most common and perhaps the most defining feature of the bar layout would be the beer pumps mounted onto the front bar. Regular ales, lagers and beers tend to be grouped together onto multi-tap speed pumps while guest ale pumps tend to be mounted individually as manual pumps. The main theme lies in the wooden decor which will always span the bar area, frequently the floor and sometimes the walls and ceiling. Plastic and glass are often seen as an unwelcome additions to the decor of a traditional pub although some adaptations have proven successful.
Most pubs adapted to modernised customers will have fridges to store wines, beer bottles and bottled mixers. The most favourable location for these appliances is underneath the back bar; allowing for good visibility of the contained products to the customer. Although it is not uncommon for fridges to be placed at either end of the bar or indeed under the front bar itself. Ice wells are now common-sight in most pubs and taverns and are almost always located under the front bar. With a complexing of the tastes of many pub customers, ice wells are now often accompanied by fruit rails. A simple design allowing quick access to freshly sliced fruit to add to simple mixed drinks such as a Gin & Tonic. In efficient bars, each ice well will be accompanied by a mini sink. It comes as a welcome addition lending sanitary and disposal functions to bartenders operating on the bar. On the front bar itself are usually some form of beer mat. Beers and lagers being the traditional speciality of the establishment; they are often supplied by breweries in business with the owner.
In some pubs and taverns the customer's side of the bar is line by bar stools. This design does not apply to more than half of beers and taverns today although it is believed to have been some time ago.
Liquor bars are somewhat of a fading trend although a select few establishments still capitalise on this unique selling point. Organisation of modern liquor bars are not a much of a contrast to their origins.
The body of a liquor bar heavily resides in the inlaid cabinets usually above the back bar. A good liquor bar of will stock these cabinets to the brim with a wide variety of spirits and liquors from around the globe. The main feature here being the bottles themselves and a vast display of their shapes and colours.