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A new bar is coming to Columbus, and it’s entirely alcohol free

A new bar is coming to Columbus, and it’s entirely alcohol free

Jack McLaughlin
Photo courtesy David Payne

Chances are you’ve witnessed the “low-proof” cocktail trend that’s sweeping the city, turning out increasing numbers of drinks with little to no alcohol content.

One new Columbus business plans to take things a full step further.

We’re talking about The Dry Mill, which is ready to serve as an entirely alcohol-free bar. You read that right, a sober bar. While there isn’t an exact timeline just yet, owners David Payne and Colin Thomas have narrowed down their list of potential Columbus locations, and hope to open soon.

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While the concept might seem paradoxical at first, with an increasing demand for low-ABV and alcohol-free options at local bars and restaurants, it’s actually anything but. Even more, for sober Columbus residents like Payne and Thomas, it will provide a much-needed social space free of booze.

“When we first got sober a few years ago, there was a feeling of being an outsider, and we didn’t feel like we had a safe environment where we could hang out,” Payne said. A veteran of the U.S. Army who began drinking after returning from overseas, he believes The Dry Mill can become a haven for veterans looking to avoid alcohol as well.

The Dry Mill will feature a full coffee bar, locally-sourced craft sodas, and a wide variety of alcohol-free beer and cocktails. According to Payne, there’s no shortage of great non-alcoholic drink options.

“Not only are there people within Columbus who have stopped drinking entirely, but also a lot who are simply taking a break from drinking. A lot of the big-name beer companies are starting to cater to the sober crowd by offering 0% ABV beer choices,” Payne said. “There are many more options now than there ever has been before, so we believe this may be a big reason more people are choosing non-alcoholic drinks.”

The Dry Mill plans to establish a fun alcohol-free zone to socialize, but according to Payne that doesn’t meant you don’t have to be sober to enjoy the space.

“The Dry Mill will be an alcohol-free space for everyone to enjoy. There are many people who drink alcohol, but they may not want to be around that atmosphere on a particular night.” Payne said. “The Dry Mill will be for anyone who wants to have a good time and not be surrounded by alcohol.”

If you like this, read: Spirit-Free Drinks for Free Spirits

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