Brillig Dry Bar
Table talk: March 2015
From the March, 2015 issue
Low lights, a jazz trio, tables packed with people socializing, and a line waiting out the door to get in. All that's missing is the booze.
That's the point at the Brillig Dry Bar, Nic Sims' twice-a-month pop-up alcohol-free bar in her husband David Myers' Mighty Good coffee shop. And she has customers clamoring to sip coffee drinks and beverages without booze--a staff member says that the pomegranate-rosemary soda seems to be most popular--and nibble small plates of food.
"I was missing bars," says a patron named Maggie, who used to drink and is now in recovery. "I'm really enjoying it--it's pretty, and it's not a Starbucks. The ambience makes me feel like I'm having drinks with friends without the temptation."
Sims, who has been sober more than twenty years, says that the spark for her enterprise was to serve others in recovery. She's been pleasantly surprised at how many other people have shown up.
A table of young Muslim women came from Detroit and Dearborn to check out the scene. "People would see me [wearing hijab at a bar] and grill me about why I was there," Alliah explains. "It's nice to sit here and talk with my friends without the bar smell and noise and questions."
At a table with fellow members of the Ann Arbor 20s Social Group, Daniel says that, while the group does go to bars, "So many people don't drink, I thought it would be cool to come here. There's only so many Cokes someone can drink."
On a date, Deann and Nick were making their second visit to Brillig. "I don't mind other people drinking," explains Nick, "but I don't drink because I don't like the taste of alcohol." Deann says, "We came back because we loved it. I drink alcohol, but I don't like being around drunk people."
Brillig is open every other Saturday from 7-11 p.m.--this month, on March 7 and 21.
[Originally published in March, 2015.]
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