Ireland’s first permanent alcohol-free bar will open on Capel Street, Dublin city, this February. Named The Virgin Mary, the new venue will have all the look, taste and buzz of a regular bar, just simply without the alcohol.
The first of its kind in Dublin, The Virgin Mary is set to become a stand out feature on what is now one of the capital’s most vibrant and diverse streets, with an array of well-known socialising destinations, international cuisine restaurants and independent retailers.
The Virgin Mary Bar is aimed at people who don’t drink, those who sometimes don’t drink, or people simply looking for a different kind of night out. Named after the world’s most popular alcohol-free cocktail, The Virgin Mary, the bar’s signature version will be mixed with freshly pressed vegetable juices, a Dublin made hot sauce and spicy infusions all created in-house.
The new venture came about from two well-known characters in the Irish drinks industry, Vaughan Yates and Oisín Davis, who are also two of the creators of Poacher’s, Ireland’s first range of premium Irish mixers.
“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,” explained Vaughan Yates.
When you combine this with the decreasing level of alcoholic drinks purchases in Ireland year on year (a decline of 1.4% per person in alcohol consumption according to Revenues clearance data 2017), there is strong evidence to support this venture that might appear at first to be quite avant-garde.
Oisín added: “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 multi-national cafes that largely lack any atmosphere. I’m really looking forward to changing that and finally giving people an alternative.”
At the helm of the new bar is Anna Walsh, who honed her craft at prestigious bars in both Cork and Dublin and has represented Ireland numerous times at international cocktail events. Anna will be devising an exciting menu which showcases entirely original alcohol-free cocktails crafted with the same love, detail and balance as the liquor based varieties.
The opening menu will feature creations such as the heady pomegranate, hibiscus and black cardamom Tiki Street; and the delectable date, oat milk and tahini based Dessert Anyone?. The bar will also offer an array of alcohol-free beers such as Mikkeler from Denmark, de-alcoholised wines including Natureo from Spain and alcohol-free spirits like Ceder’s from the UK and Silk Tree from Ireland.