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PUBS, PATIOS & BARS: Holy mother, an Irish bar without alcohol

It may seem like blasphemy in a city famed for its wild nights, but a new “first of its kind” Dublin bar is urging revellers in the city to “lose the booze but keep the Craic” while embracing its alcohol-free menu. Indeed, The Virgin Mary Bar (VMB) in the Irish capital promises to be a place where “alcohol-free doesn’t have to mean pleasure free.”

Located on Capel Street in the heart of the city, the VMB opened in 2019 as Ireland’s first permanent alcohol-free bar, taking its name “of course” from “the world’s most famous alcohol-free cocktail.”

Catering to “people who don’t drink, those who sometimes don’t drink, or simply someone looking for a different kind of night out,” the bar deliberately maintains “the look, taste, and buzz of a bar.”

A finalist in 2019 city bar awards for most innovative bar, owners are also quick to assert that drinks they do serve are something special.

“We don’t do ‘mocktails’ at TVM,” the website proclaims, adding cheekily, “In fact, our Bar Manager and Cocktail Creator Anna Walsh has been known to present you with a shot of her extra spicy virgin mary house mix should she hear the word leave your lips!”

A full range of alcohol-free wines, beers and cocktails are available, the latter mixed in a “signature style that is clean, complex and exceptionally balanced… multi-layered, aromatic and created to stimulate your social appetite.” And all boast an ABV (alcohol by volume) rating of 0.5% or below (the same as a ripe banana).

Naturally, the bar’s signature serving is (drum roll) a Virgin Mary – made with freshly pressed vegetable juices, a Dublin-made hot sauce and spicy infusions all created in-house.

At opening, about six months before the pandemic, TVM ownership suggested that the Dublin venue was meant to be at the forefront of a “social revolution” meant to inspire people to “drink different” and the expansion of the TVM concept beyond Irish shore was “imminent.” We’ll drink to that – alcohol free, of course!

The Virgin Mary Bar is located at No. 54 on lively Capel St., north of the river, and within walking distance of Dublin Castle, Grafton Street, and Temple Bar.

With glass purposefully in hand, we at Travel Industry Today continue our series on some of the planet’s best bars, patios and rooftop venues. For more articles in the series, click here:

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First published at Travel Industry Today

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