“The Virgin Mary,” Ireland’s first alcohol-free bar is set to open in Dublin this week serving a selection of non-alcoholic cocktails, beers, and wines.
An Irish pub with no beer sounds like the quintessential oxymoron but for those seeking a fun-filled night on the town, minus the booze, then business owners Vaughan Yates and Oisin Davis have the answer.
Located in what was once a furniture shop on Dublin’s charming Capel Street, the stylish 30 seater aims to whet the appetite for the growing demand for non-alcoholic drinks and a gap in the market for an alcohol-free venue.
Yates and Davis are veterans of the drinks industry and previously collaborated on Poachers, a premium Irish tonic water.
The duo enlisted 2015 World Class Irish Bartender of the Year Anna Walsh to devise a number of bespoke non-alcoholic cocktails for their trailblazing venture.
"Dessert Anyone?" is made from oat milk, tahini as well as dates, and "Tiki Street," a Polynesian-inspired cocktail (pictured above), is made from hibiscus-infused de-alcoholized red wine, pomegranate molasses and lime juice with a sprinkle of black cardamom on the top .
The bar is named for the classic Bloody Mary cocktail and a virgin version made with freshly pressed vegetable juices, hot sauce, and spicy infusions will be the bar’s signature drink.
Alcohol-free beers and spirits
Alongside the cocktail menu, there will be a wide selection of alcohol-free beers and spirits from around the world, including Ireland’s own non-alcoholic Silk Tree distilled spirit.
There is also Raven Nitro Coffee on tap which is poured from a stout tap and mimics both the texture and appearance of Guinness when served chilled in a glass.
Speaking to IrishCentral.com about the Virgin Mary Bar, Davis shared his thoughts on why he and Yates decided a non-alcoholic bar would work in Dublin:
"There is a demand for a space in Dublin where people can socialize in the evening without being confronted by alcohol. It also means that there are more options than just multinational cafés that totally lack atmosphere. We're creating a space that looks like a bar, tastes like a bar and feels like a bar, but with no alcohol.
"I travel a lot and have seen great alcohol free spaces abroad, so I think that Dublin is ready for this bar. The younger generation isn't abstaining from alcohol, but there is more awareness about alcohol and they're definitely not drinking as much as people used to.
"I also think that the older generation has become more aware of their alcohol intake and maybe they're cutting down a little too. Why shouldn't they all have an alternative place to go out and meet friends? People need more options than just a pub."
Open from 4 pm to 11 pm each day, the bar aims to recreate the buzz and atmosphere of any other late-night venue with “lighting, music, and conversation”.
What do you think? Will an alcohol-free bar work in Ireland? Let us know in the comments below.