Dublin's only alcohol-free bar closes its doors
Dublin’s only alcohol-free bar closes its doors
- The Virgin Mary closed its doors after four years of trading
- The tee-totaling spot served a range of alcohol-free beverages
Dublin’s only alcohol-free bar, which opened its doors in February 2019, has permanently shut down.
In an Instagram post published on Monday 27 March, The Virgin Mary bar, located on Capel Street confirmed it would be shutting the bar for good – but added the team would be taking the concept on the road.
The post revealed: ‘The Virgin Mary Bar is going mobile!!
‘As part of the wider @tvmcollective franchise operation, we are thrilled to be bringing our new “TVM On The Road” concept to events, festivals, pop-ups and much more around the island of Ireland!’
The tee-total drinking spot, founded by Vaughan Yates and Oisín Davis, served a range of alcohol-free beers, wines and spirits.
Vaughan Yates, owner of The Virgin Mary bar, the first alcohol-free bar to open in Dublin, Ireland
The bar was the country’s first permanent booze-free bar
Its aim was to cater to customers in Ireland who were trying to cut down on their alcohol intake.
Im 2019, Mr Yates, a self-confessed ‘whiskey head’, told MailOnline he was aiming to smash the stereotype that alcohol is needed to have a good time.
He told MailOnline: ‘When people pull themselves together and stop laughing, they say “I think you’re on to something here”.
‘I’m not really pushing anyone against drinking alcohol, I’m just saying “why not try not drinking for a night?”
’25 per cent of people in Ireland don’t drink, but as you get older, your pallet becomes more bitter.
‘But everything non-alcoholic behind most bars are really sweet, so that’s why we’re doing non-alcoholic cocktails, beers and wines.’
He even invested in nitro coffee which is made with porter to replicate the same texture as Guinness.
He said: ‘My friends tried the porter coffee the other night and said to me “this looks like and even smells like Guinness!”
Vaughan said he strongly believed that a booze-free night could be just as fun, and said that it even comes with the added benefits of being relatively hassle-free.
He said: ‘When my friends came the other day, the music got louder and louder and it was a great night.
‘But when it’s closing time, you don’t really have the struggle of trying to get people out when they’re getting a bit merry!’
And addressing the well-known stereotype which Ireland has as the drinking capital of Europe, he said: ‘We can create a new stereotype for Irish people who want to go out without drinking.’
Vaughan chose to make the bar completely alcohol free rather than offering a selection of drinks so it would be unique and also ease the application process.
He said: ‘I want to do something edgy that’s different.
‘And it also means that I don’t need an alcohol licence and so the application process has flown through.’
Between 2005 and 2016, alcohol consumption dropped by a quarter and the number continues to fall, according to the World Health Organisation.
The bar is the latest in a series of cocktail-bar closures in Ireland and across the world’s major cities.
In 2020, pioneering cocktail bar Pegu Club in New York permanently closed after nearly 15 years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Virgin Mary bar, located on Capel Street confirmed it would be shutting the bar for good
The tee-total drinking spot, founded by Vaughan Yates and Oisín Davis, served a range of alcohol-free beers, wines and spirits
In London, sustainably-led Scout shut its doors for good in 2021.
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