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Alcohol-free bar Torstig closes after a year

Brighton’s first alcohol-free bar, Torstig, has closed due to pressures from the cost-of-living crisis.

Torstig bar in Brighton was focused on alcohol-free drinks (photo credit: James Moyle)

In a statement posted on Instagram, Torstig founders Luke and Emmi Cousins announced: “The Brighton Torstig bar is now closed effective immediately.”

The bar served a selection of 0% ABV beers, wines and spirits, plus alcohol-free cocktails.

Torstig opened in November 2022 and celebrated its first anniversary last year.

The company’s statement on Instagram said: “We are a business whose values are deeply connected to inclusion, diversity, compassion and empathy. We promote looking after our minds, bodies and finding new outlets to feel positive about ourselves. The time has come where we have realised we aren’t following our own rules.

“For a while now, we’ve been running on empty. The cost-of-living crisis forced us both back into full-time employment to keep the business and the dream alive. But in doing so, we have become totally and utterly burnt out. It’s impacting all elements of our life and causing too many physical and mental health problems for us to continue as we are.”

The pair continued to thank their loyal customers.

“We are so grateful,” the statement continued. “We definitely raised the bar for low-alcohol drinks and loved proving to you how good they can really be.”

The founders said they have reached out to their network of business owners across Brighton to support their team in finding new employment, to allow them time to fully rest and restore.

Torstig had promised to donate a share of its profits in 2024 to the Alcohol Change UK charity.

“We wish to honour that promise by making a donation to them shortly, which we will update you on soon,” the statement continued. “Take care of yourselves and thank you.”

Spirits sales lagged behind all other drinks categories in Britain’s on-trade during the final two weeks of December, recent data showed.



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