DUBLIN’S VERY first alcohol-free pub is set to open its doors to the public this week.
The Virgin Mary on Capel Street will serve a selection of beers, wines and cocktails containing zero percent alcohol.
The bar is set to open on Friday and will operate normal pub hours, albeit with one key difference: no alcohol whatsoever will be served.
Businessman Vaughan Yates is the brains behind The Virgin Mary.
And speaking to The Guardian, he admits many have been sceptical about the idea of an alcohol-free bar in Dublin, of all places.
“When I mention this concept to friends, the first thing they do is laugh and ask why I’d do this in one of the bar capitals of Europe,” he said.
Alcohol-free bars have proven a difficult sell in some countries.
There is some logic to his thinking though, with Yates keen to cater to an older market of non-drinkers in Ireland preferring conversation and ambiance over alcohol.
He explained: “By nine, 10 o’clock in a (traditional) bar it’s very loud; there can be noise and chaos, here you can still be having a conversation at 10 o’clock and still be making sense.”
Noticing the increasing demand for more creative non-alcoholic drink options on nights out, he teamed up with business partner Oisin Davis and The Virgin Mary was born.
Notable non-alcoholic choices on offer will include a hot and spicy bloody Virgin Mary, a Cedar’s Spritz comprising of non-alcoholic gin and sparkling wine and a Chilled Raven Nitro Coffee poured from a stout tap to mimic the appearance of Guinness.
Yates is confident the new approach will go down well with Dubliners – despite Ireland’s famous love of stout and whiskey among other tipples.
“From birth to death, baptism to funeral, Ireland has a drinking culture,” he said. “It’s part of the lifestyle. But Ireland is changing.”