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Ireland’s ‘first’ permanent alcohol-free bar to open

As the trend for low- and no-alcohol continues to gain traction, Dublin is set to welcome what is thought to be Ireland’s first permanent booze-free bar – The Virgin Mary.

The Virgin Mary bar in Dublin will serve a selection of “original” alcohol-free cocktails

The Virgin Mary bar is the brainchild of Vaughan Yates, founder and creative director of 1751, and Oisín Davis, founder of Great Irish Beverages.

The venue will be located in Capel Street and is due to open in February.

Yates said: “Dublin is an incredibly diverse city with an increasingly discerning population, so people are looking for a place where they can sit down with friends and really connect in a lively yet mindful drinking environment.”

The Virgin Mary will serve a selection of alcohol-free beers, wines and spirits, and aims to tap into the growing percentage of the Irish population who are choosing to drink less alcohol.

Quoting World Health Organization (WHO) figures, the company said alcohol consumption in Ireland has fallen by 25% since 2005.

Oisín said: “If a fellow Dubliner wants to catch up with mates after 4pm in the city but doesn’t want to hang out in a pub, the only options available to them are multinational cafés that largely lack any atmosphere. We’re really looking forward to changing that and finally giving people an alternative.”

Anna Walsh has been recruited to head up the bar and help curate “original alcohol-free cocktails crafted with the same love, detail and balance as liquor-based varieties”.

Walsh added: “Not having alcohol as a tool for extracting and carrying flavour [and] aroma has been a fun challenge to work with.

“Health has become a keen focus within the hospitality industry and we are excited to offer a different style of venue for bartenders to visit on their nights off.”

For an in-depth look at the burgeoning low- and no-alcohol trend, see the February 2019 issue of The Spirits Business magazine, out soon.

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