Comedy and music nights – even a cinema room – are planned for the spot :: It will create volunteering, training and job opportunities
Teesside’s first alcohol free bar is ready to welcome its first (sober) customers. Just as Dry January draws to a close, Bar Zero on Middlesbrough’s Linthorpe Road is about to open its doors – and we have been given a sneak peek. The bar, which launches with an invite-only evening tonight, is part of a charity-run, not-for-profit social enterprise that has already seen the successful launch of The Fork in the Road restaurant. The bar will serve food, soft drinks, tea and coffee – but no alcohol.
Andy Preston, who chairs CEO Sleepout – the charity funding the bar, said: “Bar Zero will offer those who do not want to drink alcohol a safe and welcoming environment to meet people and mix with friends.
“We led the Public Health England capital bid and CEO Sleepout has heavily invested in The Fork in the Road, with a view to the profits from the restaurant supporting the ongoing future of Bar Zero.
“What we hope is that this can help change lives by bringing people together, which can be motivational, inspirational and develop a sense of identity.”
Bar Zero is part of a wider programme to help people in the town with drink problems by giving them a place to meet and support each other, as well as welcoming anyone who just fancies a night away from the booze. It will also create volunteering, training and job opportunities for those in recovery who want to get into the catering industry.
“There is a stage in one corner where we are planning comedy and music nights and we are working on a cinema room which can be hired out,” said Andy.
Middlesbrough Council’s Public Health Project Lead Jonathan Bowden said: “We are excited about bringing this concept to the town.”
“The significant investment from Public Health England, supported by Middlesbrough Council , ensures that Bar Zero will have the opportunity to positively impact on local residents.”
“In addition to the offer of an alcohol-free night out, Bar Zero will also provide training and employment prospects to those who may struggle to get other opportunities.
“Middlesbrough people are generous and love a good night out, so I know that they will support the charitable aims of Bar Zero – the profits will be used exclusively to fund initiatives aimed at helping individuals, families and communities affected by health inequalities within the town.”
Bar Zero will initially be open on Friday and Saturday evenings, 7pm until 11pm, starting from Friday, January 27.