Alcohol-free bar to open in Montreal next month

All of the atmosphere, none of the booze.

That's what the owners of a new Montreal bar are hoping to create on St. Denis St. starting next month. 

It's called the Mindful Bar, and its purpose is to provide a space with a distinct bar vibe — live music, theme nights, DJs — but with no alcohol.

There will be beverages, but they'll be non-alcoholic — there will be fancy mocktails and alcohol-free beer and wine on sale.

It's co-owner, Isabel Tames, quit drinking two years ago, because like many people, she grew tired of it.  She told CJAD 800's Elias Makos the idea for the Mindful Bar came to her not long after deciding to quit drinking.

"During the journey, and trying to go out, I was like, I'm quitting drinks, but I don't want to quit fun," she said. "I like to go out and dance and see friends, but alcohol is so normalized in our social life."

As she was in the process of quitting drinking, Tames says she and her partner, Diego Bayancela, tried looking around for alcohol-free bars in Montreal, but didn't find any.

"There are no options. Let's do this, you know? This could be so beneficial for so many people." she says. "And then we started working on the business plan...and it sounds like a trendy idea right now."

Neither Tames nor her partner have experience running a bar, but she says they are experienced in customer service — and she's received plenty of good feedback on the idea.

"We want it to be an inclusive and safe space," she says. "You're not going to see drunk people around. We want to make real connections."

Alcohol-free bars exist in places like Brooklyn, Portland, Me., London and Liverpool, and a few Montreal bars have upped their alcohol-free cocktail game in response to growing demand.