Walker set up Dry, which does not stock any alcohol, to give teetotallers somewhere to go where “they don’t feel they have to buy a drink or have tap water”.
He told Scottish Television channel (STV): “A choice hasn’t really been given in Edinburgh to be able to go to an alcohol-free space.
“I thought it would be great to have somewhere to go that wasn’t a pub but had a pub-like environment.”
‘Not a place to flagellate yourself’
Walker was once the owner of high-end whisky maker Adelphi Distillery but developed a drinking problem and came up with the idea of an alcohol-free bar while in South Africa, according to STV.
He said: “I don’t drink, I’m not that keen on the smell of alcohol any more to be honest and there will be a few people who are like me on that.
“It’s (the bar) not a place to flagellate yourself.
“We’re putting it out there as a place where you can come and there’s no pressure to drink.
“There’s no alcohol on the premises but it is a nice warm place to be, its comfy and there’s lots to see.”
Competing with standard pubs
The bar’s drinks offer includes alcohol-free ‘spirit’ Seedlip and tonic, and virgin cocktails such as a Simple Virgin Mary.
Walker added: “I’m not taking anything away from people who do drink, I used to be a drinker myself.”
However, Walker does not think dry pubs need to compete with standard drinking establishments.
He said: “People are grown up enough to make their own choices, I’m just giving them another.
“Seeing how many specialist shops there are, people expect to be given a choice.
“A choice hasn’t really been given in Edinburgh to be able to go to an alcohol-free space and we are offering that.”