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No Alcohol At Kentucky Bar

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No Alcohol At Kentucky Bar

No Alcohol At Kentucky Bar

No Alcohol At Kentucky Bar

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A new bar is opening later this month with the works: TVs, pool table, frosty glasses, but no alcohol. John Sims, the owner of Bar None, talks about his vision for the beer-free bar in Lexington, Ky. He says you can get alcoholic drinks "anywhere," but there's no place that offers a bar-like atmosphere without alcohol.


One place that football fans can go to watch a game in Lexington, Kentucky, this fall is called Bar None. Or if you're not into football, you can play shuffleboard or play pool, but you cannot buy alcohol at Bar None, just beverages like ginger beer. John Sims is the owner.

Mr. Sims, ginger beer is okay, but if you put dark rum in it, you've got a Dark and Stormy, and you've got an alcoholic drink. You're not going to have that.

Mr. JOHN SIMS (Owner, Bar None): No, we won't carry those.

ADAMS: How come?

Mr. SIMS: You can get those anywhere. You can get those anywhere. There's just - there's not a place that you can go and have that atmosphere without alcohol.

ADAMS: Take me back to when you thought about this, and you said, uh-huh, I can do it. Why?

Mr. SIMS: Priorities change. And I just sat down and thought. I thought about different things. I mean, I was in the club business for a long time, and I just - there's nowhere for kids to go. There's nowhere for families to go that don't do that kind of thing that want to come out and experience all the amenities that you have in an atmosphere like that, a bar or a restaurant, or a lounge for that matter, and without the alcohol, you know? And I just - like, you know what? I'd like to do something like that. I really would.

ADAMS: Did you ever have trouble with yourself with drinking?

Mr. SIMS: I never have. I've been blessed. Both my parents I would consider alcoholics, you know, yet very good people but just didn't have a control in that kind of situation. So I had, you know, a good lesson of what not to do. But I grew up in the industry, and I was able to keep, you know, to a minimum. You know, I definitely partaked(ph) and had fun with it and that kind of thing at the right level. It's a good thing. I just don't have to be all the time.

ADAMS: Let me guess here. You're working as a bartender, and you're seeing behavior - because you're sober - you're seeing behavior that you don't care that much about.

Mr. SIMS: Yes. It has a bad side.

ADAMS: Okay, do you have a chance of making any money, though? You've got a lot of food you sell?

Mr. SIMS: Yeah. We have - we have plenty of good food, like, you know, these sweet potato French fries are going to be very popular. We're going to try some of that or funnel cake fries as dessert, you know, with different things on them. There's all kinds of things to do. I mean, there'll be things to play, there'll be trivia, there'll be karaoke, there'll be just not the alcohol.

ADAMS: Did you find a place in another town that's doing it, and it's working?

Mr. SIMS: Not really. No. Not around in our area at all, by any means. And, you know, a couple places come up, you know, when we Google some stuff here and there, but nothing in that area. Not at all.

ADAMS: So, you're taking a bit of a chance here, John.

Mr. SIMS: A leap of faith, if you will.

ADAMS: John Sims, soon to open an alcohol-free bar in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. When is it coming up, John?

Mr. SIMS: We're going to open up Saturday, September 19. We'll have the UK-Louisville football game on the big screen. There's plenty of food and fun, just none of the alcohol.

(Soundbite of music)


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