PUNTERS will be shaken not slurred at the opening of Brighton and Hove’s first booze free bar.
Brighton Arts Club (BAC) in Providence Place, Brighton, is opening up a “dry-bar” tonight banning alcohol sales and drunk customers by swapping the gin for ginger and margaritas for miso soup.
Drink-related disorders are estimated to cost Brighton and Hove £107m a year, leading to an increasing interest in venues on the wagon.
Owner of the new pop-up bar Tea Total, Pasha Du Valentine, said: “It’s going to be a completely alcohol-free venue. I don’t want to sell it, see it or smell it.
“And drunk people won’t be allowed in – I can spot one at twenty paces. When you run a venue you get good at spotting these things.”
In place of alcohol she will serve non-alcoholic lagers and wines, energy drinks, hot drinks, ginger ale and miso soup.
Coronation Street actor Kevin Kennedy and his wife Clare have been in talks with city officials about setting up their own dry bar, but the plans are still on the rocks.
Ms Du Valentine, 51, of Wilbury Road, Hove, added: “I’m just testing the water, I’ve never done anything like this before.
“Alcohol is such a big pull, people will travel for it so we’ll have live music, a book corner and lots of board games to make up for it.”
Ms Du Valentine said she got the idea in early May when a band played at the venue whose lead singer was in recovery.
She said: “The whole evening is going to be one of warmth and friendship – I think it’s going to be a revelation for a lot of people. Everybody should come down, even hardened drinkers, and give it a go.”
Tea Total will open every Thursday for a trial period before extending its hours if it proves successful.
Clare Kennedy, who is also director at Brighton-based addiction consultancy Addiction Management UK, said: “In my opinion you can’t have too many dry venues. I believe we should have one dry venue for every ten that serve alcohol.”
Tea Total will be open from 8pm to midnight tonight.
FORMER Coronation Street actor Kevin Kennedy and his wife Clare, pictured, have set up a community interest company to start a permanent alcohol free venue in Brighton and Hove.
Although no location or opening date has yet been revealed, their project – called Kennedy Street and Co – has received support from Brighton and Hove City Council and Sussex Police.
The couple are both recovering alcoholics and last month comedian Russell Brand – who is also a reformed addict – visited the pair to discuss their plans.
Mrs Kennedy said: “We have continued celebrity involvement and are in the early stages of developing a TV documentary based on our journey to market.”