Theme Night Ideas for a Bar

Updated April 17, 2017

Many people love theme parties, whether it be for the opportunity to dress up in costume or to do something out of the ordinary. Hosting theme nights is a great way to get some publicity and to drive some extra business to your bar. The ideas for theme parties are endless, but there are definitely some old standbys that seem to always be successful.


Hosting a luau or beach party is a sure way to bring in crowds of people in the summer, especially if you have an outdoor area and the weather is nice. Encourage patrons to don their Hawaiian shirts and coconut bras with the promise of prizes for the best-dressed people. People will look forward to drink specials that feature tropical libations, such as pina coladas, Bahama mamas and other fruity favourites. Hand out leis at the door and feature hula dancers to help get the crowds on the dance floor. Another idea is to host a luau party in the dead of winter. Everyone loves a break from the cold and snow of winter to pretend they are in the tropical heat.

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day parties are popular in a lot of U.S. cities and often consist of an all-day beer-drinking and bar-crawling event. Kegs and eggs is a great way to start off the day of celebration. Serve up specials that consist of dyed-green eggs and beer early in the morning. Hand out green beads and award prizes for the best leprechaun costumes. Get people in the Irish spirit by featuring Irish bands and folk singers. If you serve food, make sure to feature great lunch specials, because party goers will want (and need) to re-fuel and recover from their morning beers.

'80s Party

Celebrate one of the most colourful decades by throwing a party totally dedicated to the '80s. Many people in their 20s and 30s grew up in this era, and these are the people who are most often frequenting bars. Turn off the Top 40 music for one night and go back in time with some great '80s music compilations. People should be urged to dress appropriately, in leg warmers, side pony tails, acid-washed denim and hair-band T-shirts. Serve up novelty candy favours like Pop Rocks, Chiclets and other decade favourites. Name speciality drinks after TV shows that were popular during the decade.

Country Night

There is only one thing that will get chic, urban city-dwellers to dress up in cowboy boots and sing twangy country music, and that's a Country Night. With country music gaining popularity there are plenty of options for music available. If you have access to a mechanical bull, that's even better. Serve up "moonshine" in mason jars and have several line-dancing instructors available.

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About the Author

Emily King holds a dual Bachelor's degree in English writing and business, along with a minor in studio arts from the University of Pittsburgh. She has written for a printed monthly magazine, has experience in the financial and health care industries and has published numerous online articles.