Whilst idling away half an hour on the internet this morning, I came across The Brink’s website, an alcohol-free venue in Liverpool which offers all of the benefits of a really cool bar, minus the booze. What an amazing idea and how encouraging to think that somebody out there had faith enough in there being sufficient custom to sustain such an establishment aimed at those who don’t want to get sloshed every time they go out socially, to open this café bar in the first instance.
Capitalising on the fact that if you aren’t drinking you might actually want to enjoy something interesting and creative (rather than rabbling on in your mate’s ear in slurred, drunken tones about some boring rubbish that you’ll both have forgotten about in the morning), The Brink works closely with poets, artists and musicians in order to put on a variety of entertainment that you wouldn’t find in your run-of-the-mill pub.
And the best is yet to come – all the profits are ploughed back into the community to help those who have suffered as a result of alcoholism and addiction. I’m sold. I just wish that somebody would open an equivalent in Sheffield.
We live in a society which is deeply coloured by its love of booze. As soon as you quit drinking, it becomes all too apparent that bars, restaurants and clubs (on the whole) are geared up towards those who drink, for that is where the profit lies. That’s fine – we live in a capitalist society after all and nobody does anything for free, but it can leave us teetotallers feeling a little lost when it comes to our evening entertainment. There’s nothing stopping a non-drinker from sitting or standing in a crowded bar on a Saturday night surrounded by drunken fools, and many do. I am not one of them however.
Theatre, cinema, restaurants, yes; even a party with the right people, but city centre bars are pretty much my idea of hell now that I don’t drink. And so when I happened upon The Brink’s website I felt the glimmer of hope – if only someone in Sheffield gets wind of this and opens a similar thing here, I would happily become their most frequent customer. The presence of such places in our towns and cities would go a long way to promote the notion that having fun socially does not necessarily mean getting hammered. The fact that the profits go to helping those with addiction-related problems promotes compassion and community-spiritedness, instead of commercialism and financial gain. At closing time, the patrons leave to go home sober, probably in their own cars, rather than staggering around the city’s streets looking for a fight and throwing up in doorways.
I can feel a trip to Liverpool coming on…Take a look at The Brink’s website for further information.