The Ugly Truth That Could be Your Bar Die

Most of us have walked up to a bar, whether it be before a meal or during a night out, and noticed something that didn’t sit well – a foul smell. For the casual patron, they don’t realize that smell is most likely coming from the bar die. Here’s the ugly truth about bar dies.

  • Moisture gets into them, usually from beer and soda, causing maximum damage and wood rot.
  • Bar dies are usually wet, which attracts everyone’s least favorite bar patrons; cockroaches and barflies (and I’m not talking about Norm, who is a regular at the bar – quite possibly your best customer).
  • The bar die is every health inspector’s favorite destination.

If your bar die isn’t relatively new, chances are you do not have a waterproof barrier that helps prevent moisture degradation. This might be ok in a perfect world, where bartenders never spill drinks, liquor never makes its way to the bar die, and cleaning crews don’t use buckets of water to mop the floor.  Unfortunately for us, our world is never perfect. Beer and soda are the leading culprit in penetrating the bar die, accelerating its deterioration. This damage is most likely obvious and visible. What we do not see is the drywall and studs, located in the interior wall, that inevitably become casualties of these fluids, often costing thousands to repair.

As bar dies rot and moisture penetrates the walls, the bar becomes the perfect breeding ground for the peskiest patrons of all; cockroaches and barflies. We’ve all seen them, and dealt with them, and hope to never have to see or deal with them again as long as we live. Unfortunately, if the right environment is provided, they are nearly impossible to terminate. Bar flies have a life cycle of 48 hours, so ensuring their larva cannot survive is vital in preventing infestation. If their home lies in a rotted bar die, efforts to rid yourself of these repulsive insects is impractical, if not impossible.

Now that you have the perfect storm brewing, it’s time for the final wave to hit your bar die – the health inspector. The wood rot and smell are probably enough to make the inspector’s report, but if there is a bug problem too, the inspector is required to take more serious action. If you’re lucky, you may get the opportunity to remediate the pests, and replace the bar die while maintaining daily operations. Most facility managers do not get this opportunity and will end up having to close the doors, which leads to a brand reputation hit and employee retention issues for the concept.

Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to avoid this catastrophe, and continue serving your patrons.

  • Ensure that your bar die has a proper waterproof barrier and is sealed properly.
  • See to it that your bartender is practicing proper house-keeping procedures, avoids sloshing drinks, and cleans up the bar after each shift and during slow periods.
  • Eliminate the practice of dumping out buckets of water while cleaning the floors (or, prohibit the use of a hose in the “heart of the house”).

At RFS we’ve seen it all – we’re Remodeling the Renovation Experience, and we would love to help you keep your bar die up to code, clean and smelling nice!