Sorry if this is slightly off topic, but I know you're all very good at
this sort of thing.
If hypothetically, one was to purchase an existing retail outlet (A2?) &
desire to change it in to a Bar/Restaurant (A3?), how much work actually
required. As a friend & I were researching this we've been told that you
"must" have double glazing (security rated), "must" have a porch &
"must" have a cellar.
We've also been told that noise insulation is essential, (I agree with
this but how can one add noise insulation to an existing cavity
We live in city that has opened a large number of bars (~100) over the
past 2 years & feel that the information seems conflicting as many of
the newer bars etc. don't have all of the above, and none have all of
them. So what's the truth? Or has it all changed in regulations
If anybody wishes to comment on any other practical parts of the above
please do feel free to do so. All and any information will be gratefully
received. (Free beer one day?).
Many, many thanks in advance.
Mike & Ann.
| If hypothetically, one was to purchase an existing retail outlet (A2?) &
| desire to change it in to a Bar/Restaurant (A3?), how much work actually
| required. As a friend & I were researching this we've been told that you
| "must" have double glazing (security rated), "must" have a porch &
| "must" have a cellar.
As well as Building Regulations, you will also have to comply with the
1. Environmental Health - in particular, food preparation, kitchen
extraction, toilets, refuse storage, tobacco smoke control, noise, etc.
2. Fire Brigade - as well as bringing the fire protection and detection, and
means of escape, of the premises up to scratch, you may also have to
consider alarms and means of escape to any premises above the property,
especially if they are residential.
3. Licensing Board - they will take advice from the above before granting a
license for liquor sales etc.
4. Disability Discrimination Act - the Building Regs will cover some
requirements, but you will have to refer to the DDA itself to make sure you
are fully compliant with its requirements (or it will be feasable to be
compliant as required by the timescales in the Act).
Don't know why an actual cellar is required, as beer these days is kegged
and cooled. But you should consider that you may need a catering-sized gas
main installed, a hefty electrical supply to cope with lighting and
air-conditioning, and you will need somewhere for the outside air-con units
to be as well as the kitchen extraction - where the noise and smell will not
I think by "cellar" they mean a place in which the the gas cylinders, kegs
and associated pumping gear can be kept and used in safety. AFAIK it does
not necessarily mean that it must be below floor level!
I have (mis)spent my youth in many pubs, both active and disused (they were
often commandeered for raves!) and in very few cases has the "cellar"
actually been underground.
Double glazing - sounds reasonable for sound insulation and the security
rating should both safeguard your stocks and prevent drunks throwing
themselves through it. I presume supermarkets and off licenses already have
Porch - I presume this means an 'airlock' arrangement where there are two
sets of doors and a lobby. Again sounds reasonable as this will keep the
noise down as people enter and exit. AFAIK the restaurants around our area
have this setup. Also helps in temperature control.
Cellar - well I don't think people have to dig a hole in the ground. I
presume this means a seperate lockable room to keep your draught beers
electric pumps gas and beer coolers, wine, spirits etc. Again the places I
can call to mind have a seperate room for storing beer, wine etc. Sensible
anyway as you may wish to cool this to keep your wines at a constant
temperature and your bottled beer coolish prior to refrigeration in the
display cabinet or cold shelf. Good security also.
Ceiling - fit a false ceiling with sound insulation above.
Walls - clad them with sound insulation e.g battens on the wall, fibreglass
matting between the battens, then plasterboard over. Also provides heat
Adding sound insulation will reduce the dimensions of you room(s) so make
sure you take this into account when selecting premises.
Do some research (painful though I am sure it will be) - visit a few bars
and chat to the owners.
Vishit a fuse mewer urnd chast tew a foo mere oooonerrs...
I am pretty sure you will be able to find some enthusiasts who will share
with you all the problems and joys of setting up a business (especially if
you are not setting up in their area).
I presume shop fitters will also know what you can and can't get away with.
Have you any idea how much free beer I can drink in one day??
Our glass is armoured (they throw rocks at it) but not double glazed
but I would suspect that is a requirement now.
Cellar is for keeping nasty gas cylinders etc chained to the wall - you
may need gas detectors.
Noise can get you closed down
Toilets - hand driers run from RCD's as is all the Bar
equipment & fruit machines.
No pendant lighting that drunks can pull down.
Good lighting over tills to spot the funny money.
Best ring the Fire Brigade & your local
Health & Safety, best you get there first.
I did this. You have to get planning consent from the local council
for change of use. The property must be in an area that they are
willing to allow A3 use. Talk to your local planning officer.
You must also get a Licence which is not necessarily straightforward
either. Find out what solicitors are good at getting a licence
aproved. On the day I got my licence one solicitor turned up with 16
applications and got them all turned down for a variety of reasons.
You dont need double glazing and security is more likely to be a
concern of your insurance company, you dont need a porch, indeed fire
officers may not like them as they could impeed a fast exit. Your main
door should open OUT (or be sliding). otherwise you could be looking
at severly limiting the numbers or people inside .
Disabled access is a must, and disabled facilities.
Noise that spreads out side is to be avoided at all costs.
What city is this? sounds like any number to me. If so many have
opened is there room for one more?
Yep, dont do it!
Look instead at commercial pubs for sale, it may well be cheaper to
take over an existing premisis than convert a new one.
All and any information will be gratefully
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