Daily Archives: 15/07/2015

New alcohol-free cafe in Glasgow opens its doors

And another dry bar/alcohol free cafe arrives on the scene – this time in Saltmarket in Glasgow 🙂

Cafe Gro
Cafe Gro

Cafe GRO, based at 15 St Margaret’s Place, will host live music and quizzes throughout the week and offer a space for recovering addicts and members of the public looking for a booze-free night out.

Owner Donna Campbell, who has been in recovery herself for the past six years, says she found it difficult to find a late night spot to socialise without being surrounded by alcohol.

“I was a single mother to three kids and forced to go to help by social services,” she said.

“It was hard to fix the problem as I was so ashamed but my children were neglected and I was terrified that they would be taken away from me.

“If we don’t talk about alcoholism more freely it will continue to be shameful to some people so I’m excited at the potential that the cafe will have.”

“As I’m in recovery myself and there weren’t really any alcohol free spaces in Glasgow that I could go to with entertainment and club events,” she continued.

“The problem of alcoholism in Glasgow is huge so this is somewhere to relax but support the recovery community.”

As well as the social aspects, the pub will create opportunities for people to get involved in volunteering and employment.

“Those who are in recovery need a focus, so these opportunities are a good way to give people aspirations and goals in their lives,” said Donna.

“There also aren’t many career opportunities for those that are in recovery as they have often led a chaotic lifestyle.

“As they don’t have much of a CV and have a few gaps in employment, Cafe GRO offers people a place to volunteer and train in business and catering.

“It’s good to get support and experience at the cafe – we hope to lead people into jobs by getting experience here.

“This is not a recovery cafe though – this is just a cafe but the recovery community will hopefully add to it.”

Cafe GRO won’t just be aimed for people in recovery though; the venue caters for those who are too young to go to pubs and people who avoid alcohol for religious reasons.

The pub will be a not-for-profit organisation with extra cash being put back towards the addiction recovery unit.

Three cheers for Cafe GRO and Glasgow! This now compliments the Serenity Cafe in Edinburgh which opened in 2009 and you can visit and find out about here

Serenity Cafe Edinburgh

Edited to add 25th June 2016:

Inside a Recovery Café

You might have heard of a ‘recovery café’ before, but as more and more are springing up over the country, we wanted to ask – what are they? And what’s it like inside?  Recovery cafes provide a place for people to come, be welcomed, and socialise – without alcohol. Brent Clark, from the Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT), gives a flavour of what the recovery café ‘Choices’ in East London is all about in this week’s Blenheim Blog | Blenheim Blog, UK

And now in Edinburgh! Feb 2017

A new alcohol free bar DRY opens in Stockbridge, reports the Scotsman. Former whisky company owner Jamie Walker developed an alcohol problem but now wants to show that ‘it is possible to go out and have a grown-up fun evening in an alcohol-free environment. DRY was in response to a trend for non-alcoholic beverages among increasingly health-conscious millennials claim its owners.