New Zealand’s first booze-free bar flops

10th August, 2015 by Melita Kiely

The first alcohol-free bar in New Zealand has been forced to permanently close after just five weeks of trading after “no one showed up”.

Cocktail-in-the-City

New Zealand’s “first” alcohol-free bar Tap Bar has been forced to close due to lack of business

Situated in Auckland, Tap Bar – which stands for The After Party – charged NZ$15 for entry and non-alcoholic drinks started from NZ$5.

The venue opened at midnight in the hope it would be a hot spot for customers rolling out of local nightclubs at 4am, but those revellers who did frequent the bar drank only water.

“We gave it a shot and Auckland drinking culture just didn’t tie in with the dry bar,” Grady Elliott, co-owner of Tap Bar, told the Otago Daily Times. “No one showed up.”

Now, the venue is applying for an alcohol licence and plans to re-open as a nightclub.

“We took it by the balls and gave it a punt,” added Elliott. “We knew it could have gone either way and we were prepared for it.

“The good thing is it’s ready to go as a licensed nightclub.”

Alcohol Health Watch director Rebecca Williams told the news site she was not surprised by the bar’s failure as 18-24-year-olds were often the ones leaving nightclubs in the early hours of the morning and that the venue had targeted revellers who would not necessarily want to stop drinking at that time.

In November last year, Sydney received its first booze-free mocktail bar, called Lentil on the Rocks. 

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