Don't Drink? There's an Alcohol-Free 'Dry Bar'


Photo: Tyler Stabile/

The term “teetotaler” often—and arguably, unfairly—conjures descriptors such as “lame” and “boring,” but a new venture in Ann Arbor, Michigan seeks to change that perception.

Nic Sims is the force behind Brillig Dry Bar, an alcohol-free pop-up “bar” that intends to offer non-drinkers a rousing night on the town. The first pop-up will take place Friday, December 5 at local java slinger Mighty Good Coffee, which is owned by Sims’s husband, David Myers.

"It’s an alcohol-free place for conversation and connection," Sims told The Ann Arbor News. “I haven’t had a drink in 20 years, and I know a lot of people who don’t drink. I love to go out on a weekend, but not in a bar. I wanted a bar-like convivial atmosphere, with snacks and drinks and conversation, without it being a bar.”

In place of maraschino-garnished Manhattans and Bond-worthy martinis, Brillig Dry Bar will serve egg creams and coffee drinks. Virgin cocktails such as pomegranate-rosemary sodas, seasonal wassail, and cranberry sours will also be on offer.

Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to live near a dry bar. Though booze-free watering holes have proved a hit in the United Kingdom in recent years, Brillig Dry Bar is something of an anomaly stateside.

If you’re not drinking, our survival tips for navigating social scenarios might come in handy. We recommend tasty mocktails such as club soda splashed with bitters and lime, or swirled with herb-infused simple syrup. There are even a few non-alcoholic beers out there that don’t suck.

Is a bar just a state of mind? Maybe the next time you raise your glass, it doesn’t have to be filled with bubbly.

More liquor-free drinks to enjoy:
Green-Tastic Juices to Try
Kale Mango Smoothie Recipe
Monday Blues-Busting Smoothie Recipes

Would you ever go to an alcohol-free “bar”? Tell us below!