What is a temperance bar? Quite simply a temperance bar is a bar that does not serve alcohol. It is different from a cafe for example in that it is a bar type setting, and serves more than just soft drinks. Examples would include root beer, or Dandelion and Burdock.
To read about Dandelion and Burdock click here.
Me and Temperance bars???
Many years ago I was lucky enough to do a trip down Route 66. We visited a place called Pops on Route 66, which is famous for having a 66 foot soda bottle outside, allegedly the biggest in the world. Inside it has over 700 different sodas from the world. I was literally in soda heaven. Yes soda is bad, yes it may well be the devil, but oh does it taste good. I cant remember what I purchased there, but I remember it being a lot.
It got me thinking if there might be other places like this around the world, which led me back to the sunny United Kingdom!
A temperance bar, also known as an alcohol-free bar, sober bar, or dry bar, is a place that does not serve booze. All clear so far right, but interestedly and as stated before they look exactly like a proper pub.
Temperance bars were a big deal back in the day, Christians thought that people shouldn’t drink, so these kinds of bars were all over your average UK high street. Interestingly as they did not serve booze they could open on a Sunday. Quite how many people would sneak vodka in is currently unknown…..
Classic drinks such as Vimto and Coco-Cola were first tasted in UK temperance bars.
As you might imagine with the advent of restaurants, fast-food joints and the fact that alcohol is so damned good Temperance Bars went somewhat out of fashion. In fact there is only one left in the UK….
Whilst there have been a few new pop-up Temperance style pubs, Fitzpatrick’s in Rawtenstall, Lancashire, established in 1890 is the only original still in existence. It is also makes a lot of classic drinks, being the only company to still make Dandelion and Burdock under the original recipe for example.
Charities have been opening up new “bars” over the last 5 years and it seems that the temperance bar might be making a comeback.
Even though i’m drinker, I think i’d give it a swirl!