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Private Club Slash Bar Slash Hangout Place

By WookieMan follow WookieMan   2021 Jul 14, 5:37pm 433 views   33 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share      


Not sure if anyone has had experience with this. We have an operational, but closed down bar in our downtown area for sale #FuckCovid. I was thinking of putting together a group of neighbors and friends, like 20 families or so and reopening it as a private club to not have to deal with liquor licenses and just have a fun hang out place. Have membership fees and a buy in amount to purchase the building and side lot.

Don't expect anyone to know IL law on it. Just wondering if anyone belongs to one. Not sure if they're nationwide, but here we have the Moose and Elks lodges as private clubs with bar/restaurant service. Probably similar to VFW places with kitchens and bars. Basically a place not open to the public, but you could invite a guest for a fee.
1   Patrick   ignore (1)   2021 Jul 14, 5:50pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Sounds like a good idea to me. I'd probably join if I lived anywhere near it.
2   Ceffer   ignore (6)   2021 Jul 14, 6:02pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I wouldn't count on avoiding taxes, regulators, licenses, insurance, etc. etc. They will find you, and there are more liabilities than you can possibly imagine.
3   Patrick   ignore (1)   2021 Jul 14, 6:05pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

There is the risk that someone will get drunk there and go out and run over a baby. Maybe the club could be held liable for that.
4   WookieMan   ignore (6)   2021 Jul 14, 6:14pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Ceffer says
I wouldn't count on avoiding taxes, regulators, licenses, insurance, etc. etc. They will find you, and there are more liabilities than you can possibly imagine.

I've researched the liquor laws here, we'd get through as long as we weren't selling it to members. BYOB basically. The kitchen is functional and we'd just bring our own food and use the flat top or fryer, serve nothing to the public.

We have a group of us that make decent 6 figure income in rural IL, and the building with equipment and side lot is $200k. So we wouldn't need to make money, but was thinking we'd charge fees to guest maybe?

Obviously I'd talk to an attorney before doing anything. I know we'd need liability and damage insurance on the property. Just kind of wondering if anyone has been in a private club like this and knows a little bit. I was a spoiled country club kid, but I had no clue the inner workings of the place.

This is about a 30'X120' building with a side lot. So we're looking at yard games in the summer and indoor bar games (pong, foosball, shuffleboard, darts, cards, arcade games, maybe golf simulator, etc.) with a place to cook and have some drinks and not trash each others houses.

I personally have the free time to maintain it too. So those costs wouldn't be too bad. I just think it would be fun.
5   mell   ignore (6)   2021 Jul 14, 8:15pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Patrick says
There is the risk that someone will get drunk there and go out and run over a baby. Maybe the club could be held liable for that.


Somebody contracts !covid! and chooses to sue into oblivion - make sure the !covid! waivers are airtight. Also if somebody gets drunk you may be liable to stop them from driving, probably depends on state law. So only responsible drinkers. But generally I support entrepreneurship!
6   Bd6r   ignore (1)   2021 Jul 14, 8:21pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

mell says
make sure the !covid! waivers are airtight.

nothing is airtight, what matters is how much your lawyer is billed hourly
see pre-nups
7   FuckCCP89   ignore (6)   2021 Jul 14, 10:33pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Register it as a church.
8   Patrick   ignore (1)   2021 Jul 14, 10:48pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Hey, if it's a church then it's exempt from property tax, I think.
9   PeopleUnited   ignore (1)   2021 Jul 15, 2:00am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Sounds like the attorneys fees, accountants fees, and liability insurance could be substantial. Plus if one sale of alcohol happens, one minor is served, or one guest/member drives drunk your organization may become familiar with the Illinois law enforcement community and the political powers that be in ways you would rather not.

In today’s day and age every club and every church, basically any organization that has expenses and assets must be run like a business and navigate layers of red tape, or worse : social media and other forms of misinformation as much as cutting the grass, painting the walls and sealing the roof, and paying utilities, and lets not forget about internal fraud or other crime from within the club/bookkeeping.

It can be done, but is it worth it?

It would be cheaper to rent a place and let the owner assume the liability. Not that any landlord/investor would likely buy a place like you speak of with thoughts to rent out the space. It is actually quite sad that in America we don’t have clubs like you speak of anymore. The closest thing I can think of is a church or Sportsman club. The church option seems dishonest at best, and the sportsman’s club model is still full of red tape.

But if you can find a way to make it happen let me know. It sounds like fun, maybe we could start a new fraternal organization, the Fraternal order of the Wookie.
10   Ceffer   ignore (6)   2021 Jul 15, 2:37am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

The "Holy Church Of Beer and Brawling" Inc. has a nice ring to it. Also, never go into partnerships. Use some other form of ownership. That means lawyers and $$$ just to get things off the ground.
11   GreaterNYCDude   ignore (0)   2021 Jul 15, 6:08am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

@WookieMan. I'm a Freemason. Most local lodges who own their buildings are set up in a way similar to what you describe.

Put together some bylaws and incorporate. Then put the building in the name of the corporation.

Frankly, I think you should go for it.
12   Shaman   ignore (2)   2021 Jul 15, 6:10am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Fight Club!
You can fund it with homemade soap!
13   WookieMan   ignore (6)   2021 Jul 15, 8:46am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

GreaterNYCDude says
@WookieMan. I'm a Freemason. Most local lodges who own their buildings are set up in a way similar to what you describe.

Put together some bylaws and incorporate. Then put the building in the name of the corporation.

Frankly, I think you should go for it.

This is what I was thinking. Definitely would incorporate and have bylaws and a board. There still would be monthly dues as well to cover maintenance and operating costs, part of which would be insurance for liability.

I don't overly worry about liability though. It would be strictly BYOB. No intention of selling anything to members or the public. It would kind of be like a frat house for families if that makes sense. Yes, we'd drink and have fun, but the people we roll with are all professional level people and most would be able to bike to the location (yes, I know you can get a DUI on a bike). No one gets knock out drunk either.

Most everyone I'd recruit works from home a lot now, so I've even thought of having some work stations for during the day or they could just set up a laptop at the bar. Love the wife, but can't stand when she works from home. "I'm on a call, shut up"

It has a basement too and I was thinking of getting member lockers. Just put your stash of booze/weed or anything you'd want to use when hanging out. Things like pong, you keep your paddle in it, darts, pool cue and your BYOB, at least hard stuff that doesn't need to be cooled. Rules would need to be set as well. No boozing before a certain time, smoking etc.

I lived in the real little Italy and the fake little Italy in Chicago. There were multiple clubs. It would kind of be a weird thing in a small town like mine, but whatever. The goal is to be family friendly too even though I mention frat house above. Basically a place to hang so we don't have to go into each others homes to hang out.

With 3 kids now, it's an absolute pain to keep the house tidy for the possible random hang out. Our friends are not judgmental, but I think in a communal setting everyone just works together to keep it clean and you can have a lazy week at your own home and not worry about people coming over and seeing 3 days of laundry in baskets in the living room.

Acquiring the building is probably the biggest concern. It's a cheap building overall, but I'd prefer to not have any financing. So the initial membership fee would be high, but we could have low monthly fees after. Possible appreciation if the "club" decides to sell the property or side lot. So could potentially be an investment. Then there's the issue of guests. Ugh... lots of research to do.
14   Tenpoundbass   ignore (16)   2021 Jul 15, 9:05am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Why not just take turns hosting cocktail parties, with a cover charge?
15   WookieMan   ignore (6)   2021 Jul 15, 9:46am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Tenpoundbass says
Why not just take turns hosting cocktail parties, with a cover charge?

It's not necessarily about partying. It's more about social therapy I guess if that makes sense. Covid has fucked a lot of people up. Maybe I want to just hang with my neighbor John Doe after a rough day and not have the wives and kids there. Go shoot some pool that I wouldn't want in my basement anyway, but still enjoy playing.

Remember I'm pretty rural. Everyone would be within 15 minutes walking distance to this place. 2 min. drive. If you have a fight, get sick of the kids or some other reason you have a place to land at for a while and chill. Besides the social aspect, it's therapeutic knowing you have a place you can unwind at if you wanted.

Ideally I'd have a vacation house. But there's no immediate escape with that. You're either driving hours or flying to it. Could also have hours. Men only at X time. Women at Z time/day. Given this work from home situation, it would be super cool to have a place minutes away you can go to. Remember, this place is 100% turn key as well. We literally wouldn't have to do anything upon purchase. We could be cooking and drinking the day of closing.
16   Tenpoundbass   ignore (16)   2021 Jul 15, 10:13am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

WookieMan says
Covid has fucked a lot of people up. Maybe I want to just hang with my neighbor John Doe after a rough day and not have the wives and kids there. Go shoot some pool that I wouldn't want in my basement anyway, but still enjoy playing.


Build a back yard Freedom Shed.

17   Onvacation   ignore (7)   2021 Jul 15, 10:28am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Is a bar feasible in your town? If not, I wonder if your club would be?

Perhaps you could put a corporation together to buy the building and run it as an actual bar. People driving through town as well as locals would have a place to stop and refresh. You could set up rules and hire a crew to run the place. The logistics of setting up and running a bar are well known. You could just add your "private club" details and close it to the public whenever you want.

The way you described the place it could be made into a place where the whole family could come. Since many locals would have a stake in it it could be more popular than otherwise.

I think the route of running a public bar would be easier and ultimately cheaper than trying to make a private club. Most businesses fail within a year or two. If your private club is feasible then a bar would be even more feasible.

That's my two cents.
18   WookieMan   ignore (6)   2021 Jul 15, 10:32am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Tenpoundbass says
Build a back yard Freedom Shed.

I've seen your photos/post from the past on your shed, looked nice as a fellow musician. I already have an average shed more for storage and wood working.

I need to be off site I guess. The kids can't drive. The wife wouldn't drive and would just text. Club would be locked with code access or card. We're also talking $30k in commercial grade kitchen equipment and fridges included. We could configure it however we want depending on the event. We could have tables and chairs out like a restaurant or put them in the basement. Basically it's an asset to an extent if we all can agree.

This also isn't like a man cave thing. Kids, wives, friends could all hang. It's just something that we could get 20 families/friends to purchase for about $5-10k buy in depending on numbers and a monthly fee of probably $20-30, if that. Doing a legit shed hangout space like you did would cost $5k from scratch. I figure pool money and we do a lot of cool shit with the space. It's already a cool space, but we bring in shuffle board, pong table, pool table, etc. all which we have and want out of our houses it could be really cool. Limited capacity so it's never crowded.

The buy in is probably the biggest hurdle. You won't see that money again unless every member agrees to sell. Or we allow you to sell your membership and keep it restricted to X number. So that value could theoretically appreciate. Sorry, this is a new idea and I'm hashing it out in my comments. I know there's existing examples, I haven't had time or much luck in my limited research finding out info.
19   Tenpoundbass   ignore (16)   2021 Jul 15, 10:35am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I grew up in a small town .There was a New Jersey Yankee(as called in common colloquial terms back then) moved to our town. He bought a building off Highway 11, and made a private club. I guess he had buddies from the surrounding larger towns. The local town drunks were upset and weren't having it, as we didn't have a bar in our town. Now here this damn Yankee comes along and makes one, then wont let them drink in the damn thing. The idea that a Commercial business, with a Public tax burden could be used for private affairs, didn't seem right then and it doesn't seem right now.
They argued"
If you can't run a catering business out of your house, then you shouldn't be able to run a private social parlor out of a Commercial structure.
Not unless anyone in the public can join. Even if there's a fee process.
20   WookieMan   ignore (6)   2021 Jul 15, 11:16am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Onvacation says
Is a bar feasible in your town? If not, I wonder if your club would be?

No. That's why it closed. Covid didn't help. We already have 2 bars/restaurant and a BBQ place that can serve beers and seltzers. Another pizza place that allows BYOB. And another vintage fast food type place. There's not enough demand and we'd be pissing off the owners that we know personally if we opened it to the public.

Food is definitely not profitable here with all the establishments. And without food I don't think we'd get a liquor license from the village either. We're talking 2,200 people. All the food places have probably 250-300 people capacity at one time combined. There's also no way I'd get multiple people to invest in a business like that either. The club is the easier sell in my opinion and people just know the costs are sunk and maybe they could sell their membership.

Hence why I've pondering this idea. No liquor license is needed in IL if not selling to the public or BYOB for a club. IL is different than some states where the liquor license is with the corporation and not the property if that makes sense. So if you buy a business you have to completely reapply for the license. So that would be another hurdle to open to the public. Some states it just transfers with the business/location. I also have no interest in managing a bar/restaurant. My wife's family has been in some element of that industry since I met her and it's a miserable existence. Beside the money, there's a shitload of drama with employees.

It would be BYOB. No hours. Unlimited access. Our local gym does it. I could work out at 3am if I wanted. People are paying $40/mo for that. The issue is acquisition and owning the building outright. Having members with the ability to invite guest with a fee. It's not about making money either. It's essentially a social club. Some of the potential members are in sales and could entertain clients there as well. It has value, I'm just trying to figure out how to put it together. I definitely don't want to do anything with the public. Too much risk for my taste given the area.
21   FuckTheMainstreamMedia   ignore (7)   2021 Jul 15, 12:05pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

I don’t know Illinois law.

Los Angeles has a few of these, mostly run by Hispanics in crap neighborhoods. Outside of property tax, insanely a city tax, and possibly state and federal tax, it’s not a horrible idea. They are usually called “xxxxx social club”.

The people the hang out there seem pretty happy. I’ve seen ice chests, fridges, pool tables, card tables. I don’t think many people from the government would bother them in these neighborhoods.

In the 90’s there were a few pool halls in suburbs of LA that were 24 hours and a few more that would(illegally) stay open only to friends of the owners after whatever time they were mandated to close in the various cities they were in.
22   WookieMan   ignore (6)   2021 Jul 15, 12:18pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

FuckTheMainstreamMedia says
In the 90’s there were a few pool halls in suburbs of LA that were 24 hours and a few more that would(illegally) stay open only to friends of the owners after whatever time they were mandated to close in the various cities they were in.

IL is similar. I don't think you can sell booze from 4-6am regardless of local regulations, but we/I wouldn't be selling. Just hanging out and most definitely not at that time unless I get up early to clean up or something like that. I like golf, but a country club just isn't my vibe. Too many members and too uppity. I like the idea of having a social club where 20ish people have control, like minds and tastes. Anything above that number get unruly in my opinion.

And yes, I know, anytime you create a group something won't go right. I've also got to look at occupancy issues. It's a good space, just not massive if we hold an event. Don't need a situation where we're at capacity and someone that bought it wouldn't be let in. I've got two friends that are nutmegs on fire safety because they work in the industry.

This is why I'm Libertarian(ish). This shouldn't be this complicated.
23   WookieMan   ignore (6)   2021 Jul 15, 12:19pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Holy auto correct...lol.
24   Onvacation   ignore (7)   2021 Jul 15, 4:19pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

WookieMan says
Too many members and too uppity. I like the idea of having a social club where 20ish people have control,

Do the math and make a business plan, because it will be a business.

Start with a spreadsheet. You already said property can be purchased for $200K. Twenty people $10K each. Remodeling, reroofing, maintenance in general, $5K a year? $10K? Running costs? Electricity, heating, cable, insurance, water, security, $500/month?$5000/Month?

Assessments?

Quick calculation says 20 club members are in for $11K - $12K++ Buy in depending on where the property is and where you want it to be. After that running expenses would run about $10K - $20K a year, maybe less so at least a couple hundred per month maintenance fee. And then you have to bring your own beer and food.

Filling out a business plan really forces you to THINK about all of the details of your dreams. Who's your competition? How to deal with member disagreements... Oops, I forgot legal fees in the expenses.

It could be a dream come true...
25   WookieMan   ignore (6)   2021 Jul 15, 4:54pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Onvacation says
Electricity, heating, cable, insurance, water, security, $500/month?$5000/Month?

I've got a spreadsheet going. Insurance is the wild card I've never personally dealt with. It's zoned commercially. It's a single story with basic pitched roof rectangle building. Not super complex. Liability is my concern. We can automate the utilities to be super efficient (motion sensor light switched, schedule thermostat, etc). We'd probably black out the few windows in front to not make it look like a public business. Also, no funny business, we'd have cameras watching every angle inside and outside.

I think if bought outright, we could easily operate with $50/member to cover taxes (unknown), insurance and utilities monthly. I don't know if commercial garbage service would be expensive, but could alway do a last person there puts it in their residential bin. No one would know or care.

Member disagreements are of concern. That would be built in to the bylaws though to cover grievances or other issues though. New members, selling your membership, etc. I'm aware of all the hang ups. It's the midwest though. Winter and snow and a place to go instead of having 8 kids and 10 adults at your house. Summer it has the side lot for bags and other games outdoor games. Ability to smoke inside (weed or cigs - not a fan of cigs) Given the potential for appreciation of the property or membership itself, I don't think it's a hard sell. Especially now with all the money being printed.

Hard part is the upfront cost for many. I'm doing okay and could throw $20k at it, but I'd prefer a structure with equal ownership, like shares. If we added a new member it would be like a one time dividend, so eventually you could get the $10k or so back. Everyone owns a fixed percentage so no one can demand things without a consensus. I'm working on it. Might post my figures in a future comment with details if anyone is interested in giving feedback. I need to sleep on it at this point.
26   HunterTits   ignore (4)   2021 Jul 15, 5:21pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

FuckCCP89 says
Register it as a church.


ESPECIALLY as the Church of the Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey.

I am serious. Do that and none of the Libtarded bureaucrats will fuck with you. Because if they do, you can then scream about how they are being obviously hateful of LBGTQ, etc.


uploads/2021/07/130682_ac09_buttmonkey
27   GreaterNYCDude   ignore (0)   2021 Jul 15, 7:21pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

Consider having a vetting process for new members. I would caution against letting people sell their stake to others. That's how the riff raff get in.

Also don't count on members keeping the place clean. If your area had a local cleaning service, pay them to come in once a week to spruce the place up and split the cost evenly. Trust me.

As for insurance in addition to any property insurance (theft, fire, whatever) the board can get a director's policy... CYA
28   HunterTits   ignore (4)   2021 Jul 15, 8:07pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

And strippers! Gotta have strippers.
29   HeadSet   ignore (3)   2021 Jul 15, 8:29pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

HunterTits says
And strippers! Gotta have strippers.

I noticed you did not say "female" strippers.......
30   Tenpoundbass   ignore (16)   2021 Jul 15, 8:43pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

WookieMan says
I need to be off site I guess. The kids can't drive. The wife wouldn't drive and would just text.


Yeah the kids are always demanding entry into the Freedom shed while they ball out in the yard demanding I open the door.
Only to have one distract me, while the other ones turns every lug and screw on my drum set, loosens every tuner peg, and adjusts every knob on every amp.
When I was their age, there was that Honeycomb commercial where some dude in the back yard, lived in the honey comb hideout. It did seem like a cool place I would want to be .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBXJ9gLlYrg
31   HunterTits   ignore (4)   2021 Jul 15, 9:03pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

HeadSet says
I noticed you did not say "female" strippers.......


Didn't think I had to. But I noticed you think I should have. Didn't know you swung that way, @HeadSet . I shall keep that in mind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqNr5AoF6Gs
32   HeadSet   ignore (3)   2021 Jul 16, 6:16am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

HunterTits says
Didn't think I had to. But I noticed you think I should have. Didn't know you swung that way, @HeadSet . I shall keep that in mind.

LOL! Good retort. I should have seen that coming.
33   WookieMan   ignore (6)   2021 Jul 16, 7:30am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag        

My sister who's an attorney just brought up the gambling idea. You can have video gambling machines in IL. I don't really want to attract that element as I'm not a gambler and I know if you're losing and drinking and in a shitty mood things could escalate. Something to think about though.

The whole goal is a hangout space where we can play games and have a few drinks. Gambling, at least legal gambling could mess things up. But it's interesting to reduce the monthly cost or attract members.

The more and more I hash this out I'm going to piss off local business owners big time. The thing is the top 10 people that I know would be in on this will still go to the other bars. Just something else I have to account for. Although I guess maybe they'd be happy to see the place a club and not reopen to the public. It was formerly a popular bar.

And as a private club, yes I'm pretty sure we could have women strip. I know it happened all the time in the mens only bar at the country club when I was growing up.

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