Ireland’s first ever alcohol-free bar now open in Dublin

It was a big weekend for Dubliners with the
city’s first ever alcohol-free bar opening to the public.

‘The Virgin Mary’ on Capel Street took a
dry run and welcomed customers with a delicious range of wines, beers and
cocktails, all free of any alcohol.

Owner Vaughan Yates and business partner
Oisin Davies are both experts in the field of beverages and saw a gap in the
market after noticing a growing demand for booze-free drinks in the capital.

Despite receiving many dubious reactions, the
duo pursued their dream and The Virgin Mary was born.

drinker’s paradise

Irish people are often noted for their traditional
fondness for a drink or two.

From a relaxing afternoon pint to a
celebratory popping of champagne corks, we are undoubtedly a lively nation at

World famous Irish pubs pave the streets of
Dublin while the Guinness brewery attracts thousands of tourists every year.

Hens and stags flock to the capital for one
last raucous weekend and rely heavily on the well-stocked bars and clubs of our
fair city.

So how will a no-alcohol venue go down
among party-goers in the Capital?

Yates remains positive and believes there
is a social shift happening in Ireland.

He says, “I think we’re at the beginning of
a cultural shift in terms of people’s attitudes towards alcohol.

“We’re not saying don’t drink, what we’re saying is if you don’t want alcohol here is an alternative.”

“There aren’t many if any, bars set up
just as bars that you come into and drink just non-alcohol products.

“And you can drive home,” he adds.

But with traditional nights out in Ireland
often involving a polished bar lined with pints and live music belting out
songs to celebrate similar nights gone by, is it realistic to think it would be
the same without the effects of alcohol?

to grow up?

Award-winning mixologist and bar manager
Anna Walsh is confident her “grown-up” cocktails at The Virgin Mary will be
enough to tempt any drinker.

She says, “When you give yourself
boundaries, you’re forced to be more creative.”

With this in mind, Walsh has created an
impressive menu of non-alcoholic cocktails including a hot and spicy Virgin
Mary and a refreshing Cedar’s Spritz, a mix of alcohol-free gin and sparkling
non-alcoholic wine.

There is also a wide selection of
alcohol-free beer and a Raven Nitro Coffee on tap that looks a lot like
Guinness when served cold in a stout glass.

is it worth it?

The stylish venue opens from 4 pm until 11
pm every day and offers 30 seats in a relaxed atmosphere with all the trimmings
found in any other late-night city bar.

Not only will it appeal to the estimated 25
per cent of Irish who don’t drink alcohol but it will also appeal to the
growing number of people who focus on minimizing waste.

Even the tomato-flavoured crisps are made
from the leftover pulp used in Walsh’s Virgin Mary cocktail.

And if that is not enough to convince you
then maybe the idea of having a sober conversation or a clear head in the
morning might be enough to entice you to the booze-free zone.

Aware of the risks Yates acknowledges,
“There is still a long way to go in this field.

“We’re only really at the beginning of it,
both from a cultural point of view and products.”

While bar manager Walsh asks the question
on all our lips, “can you lose the booze and keep the craic?”

There’s only one way to find out.

Dive in and explore the city like a local.

Read our tips on where to go, what to do and what not to miss…

In compact Dublin, you can easily cover a lot of ground on your own

From nocturnal pub crawling (for educational purposes) to high-adrenaline outdoor activities to fun family-friendly pursuits, choices abound.

You might start with the capital’s supremo tourist attraction, the Guinness Storehouse. Most people do.

Prefer being under the watchful eye of a knowledgeable guide?

There are tons of tours – walking, traveling by bicycle or bus, amphibious vehicle or horse-drawn cart…or even by boat or kayak.

However you choose to get about, you can also experience the true spirit of traditional Irish culture and history through architecture, dance, storytelling, music, theatre, museums and galleries.

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