Trendy booze-free bar falls off the wagon by not making any money

Sobar proudly branded itself as the only one in upmarket Ashley Cross in Poole, Dorset, not to sell the hard stuff. Just five months after opening, owner Dave Tonkes admits his ambitious venture is not quite going to plan.

The reformed drinker claimed teetotallers “don’t go out and socialise” in the same way as drinkers.

Dave, 52, said: “Although my research showed there was a market for this type of thing, people are just not using it.

“Having the bar as 100 percent alcohol-free just excludes the vast majority.”

“I thought that people who don’t drink would want the same experience but obviously I was wrong and I hold my hands up.”

“I had groups coming in where two or three of them drink and they don’t realise there are no alcoholic options at all.”

The dad of three says around a quarter of his stock will be alcoholic in future, alongside his vast range of booze-free beer, cider, wine and cocktails.

He admits he had an “unhealthy relationship” with alcohol but gave it up 11 months before opening his business.

He added: “I’ve had some really positive responses. It just needs that little extra to keep it going. It’s paying the bills but it needs to do a little bit more to pay me.”

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