Gap in the market for no-booze pub, claims pop-up bar owner

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Alcohol-free: Seedlip is just one of the ‘dry’ drinks the bar offers
Alcohol-free: Seedlip is just one of the ‘dry’ drinks the bar offers

Related tags: Alcoholic beverage

Alcohol-free pop-up bar owner Jamie Walker has said there is a gap in the market for a booze-free pub.

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.”

Related topics: Soft & Hot Drinks

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