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Kerry's first non-alcoholic nightclub prepares to open its doors

'25% of the adult population in Ireland do not drink'
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

22.18 26 Oct 2021


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Kerry's first non-alcoholic ni...

Kerry's first non-alcoholic nightclub prepares to open its doors

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

22.18 26 Oct 2021


Share this article


The first non-alcoholic nightclub in Co Kerry is set to open up its dancefloor on Thursday.

Lisa Curran is organiser of 'The Virtue Club' in Tralee.

She says they want to have a place where people can make friends.

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She told Lunchtime Live: "It's coming from a personal angle - I think when you get over the age of 30, drinking isn't as much fun.

"You do want to sit down and talk to people, and you want to make genuine connections with like-minded people.

"We've been looking up studies when we came up with the idea - myself and Ger O'Sullivan - about what the population is really doing around alcohol.

"And we discovered that 25% of the adult population in Ireland do not drink - and they do not have a place to go where they're not surrounded by other drinkers, or with peer pressure.

"That's probably gone up now after COVID, I personally think.

"So it's definitely a wide open, global market at the moment."

Lisa says she was "absolutely blown away" by the positive response to the venture.

She says she has fielded phone calls and messages from musical acts and non-alcoholic drink companies as far away as the US.

"I didn't realise how far the scope of this could be, it went like wildfire.

"I knew we'd get a good few - but I didn't realise how many people behind closed doors were looking for something like this".

And she says they are not anti-alcohol in any way.

"We're not anti-drink, absolutely not anti-drink.

"This is wide open for people that just decide 'This week I'm not going to drink'.

"They can go out again the next week and have a few drinks - it's just an alternative choice.

"If people - maybe due to mental health issues, maybe personal reasons, triggers - I mean how many people are pregnant?

"Just a place where they can go and meet other people that are in the same scenario".

She says those asking for non-alcoholic drinks won't face any strange looks.

"Go up to the bar and ask for a non-alcoholic drink, and maybe not have somebody beside you giving you a look.

"Or telling you 'Ah go on, you'll have one'... 'Why aren't you drinking? What did you do? Are you on medication? What's wrong with you?'

"And when people have drink in them, they don't see that that could really possibly upset or trigger someone - you don't know their situations.

"So it just a place for everyone to have the craic and not feel like they're pressured into something else.

"And at the same time that goes both ways - it's not pressuring people to not drink, either".

This is not the first such bar that Ireland has seen offer an alternative.

'The Virgin Mary' alcohol-free bar on Dublin's Capel Street announced earlier this year that it was expanding into the United Arab Emirates.

Kerry's first non-alcoholic nightclub prepares to open its doors

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Main image: A barman gives a non-alcoholic cocktail across a hotel bar in November 2018. Picture by: Евгений Вершинин / Alamy Stock Photo

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Ger O'Sullivan Lisa Curran Lunchtime Live Non-alcoholic Nightclub The Virtue Club Tralee

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