Truly Awesome Famous Pubs and Bars (and What Pub Owners Can Learn from Them)

If you're thinking about opening a pub or buying an existing one, there are a lot of things to think about before you make your final decision. Here are three famous pubs and bars that you might be able to learn something from.

The Business: Rick's Café Casablanca

Location: Casablanca, Morocco

Why It's Famous: This café/bar is a replica of the fictional bar made famous in the 1942 film Casablanca. Such a business would obviously do a bustling tourist trade and would also attract fans of the film, despite the fact that the business was only opened in 2004.

What You Can Learn: While it's fine to take inspiration for your pub (or indeed any business) from an existing cultural property, you need to be wary of the line between inspiration and copyright infringement. So a themed pub can be a great idea, but be cautious that you're not breaching any intellectual property laws with your theme and the end result. For example, you couldn't simply open a Harry Potter pub or a Star Wars pub, if this was something you were considering. In a worst case scenario, the copyright holder could conceivably issue you with a cease and desist order, necessitating a costly revamp of your premises.

The Business: El Floridita

Location: Havana, Cuba

Why It's Famous: This cocktail bar is where Ernest Hemingway used to drink on a regular basis when he lived in the Cuban capital. His reported drink of choice was the bar's daiquiri, and a life-sized statue of Hemingway now stands by the bar, as though he was drinking there forever.

What You Can Learn: It's unlikely that you will simply be able to buy a pub or a bar with such a rich cultural association, but you can still learn something from El Floridita. The bar became renowned for its signature drink, and you can perhaps become known for something similar. A specially designed (and reasonably priced) cocktail might not appeal to your intended clientele, and yet a drink that differentiates you from your competitors can be beneficial. It might as simple as stocking a high quality boutique beer, something that nobody else in your area has on offer.

The Business: Moe's Tavern

Location: Springfield, USA

Why It's Famous: You've probably seen The Simpsons, and of course this tavern is entirely fictional, although it's not without some significant pop culture weight. After all, The Simpsons has been on the air since 1989! Fictional or not, you can still pick up a few tips.

What You Can Learn: You can bypass the dreary interior and the poor hygiene, and the strength of Moe's Tavern can be found in its regular customers. If you were looking at pubs for sale, the number of regular patrons can be a key component of your choice. This is a question that needs to be asked, and you might want to visit the pub as a customer at off-peak times, simply to gauge the number of customers who seem to be part of the regular crew.

There are many factors at play when it comes to buying a pub, but these well-known venues might be able to teach you a thing or two.