Lonely Planet Writer

Ireland’s first booze-free bar 'The Virgin Mary' opens in Dublin

Ireland’s very first alcohol-free pub has opened this week on Capel Street, Dublin. The Virgin Mary’s drinks menu is packed with choice, from alcohol-free beers and wines to a variety of cocktails like the ‘Pink Preacher’.

Man drinking a cocktail outside the pub
Bar owner, Vaughan Yates, enjoys a Bloody Mary outside the pub. Image by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The bar’s owner, Vaughan Yates, saw a gap in the market for a venue like this as people become more aware of their alcohol intake, or often decide to give it up for months at a time, if not completely. However, Ireland will always be a social destination – Yates thinks the craic will still be mighty, and that the Virgin Mary will allow the more health-conscious punter to have a night out, but still make it to the gym in the morning.

A display of non-alcoholic beers.
Non-alcoholic beers on display in the bar. Image by Niall Carson/PA Images via Getty Images

The opening has raised a few eyebrows, but with recent trends towards more activity-led lifestyles, Yates is confident the Virgin Mary will be a hit. He told Extra.ie, ‘…I also hope it’s the start of something bigger. I think in ten years’ time there will be a lot of venues like this.’ 

A woman holds up a bottle of sparkling wine.
A non-alcoholic Sparkling Tea drink, seen inside the Virgin Mary bar. Image by Artur Widak/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Alcohol-free bars and events certainly seem to be on the rise, with London’s first booze-free bar springing up late last year, an alcohol-free pop-up at the Commonwealth Games, and teetotal gin doing the rounds in Melbourne.

With so many brilliant pubs to choose from in Dublin, you can always nip around the corner and start on the shots if you decide a booze-free night’s not for you!