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YADA Collective

Creating an alcohol-free environment, community and experience for everyone.

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How We Created an Alcohol-Free Bar – The Story of YADA So Far…

I want to tell you a little story about how how we created an alcohol-free bar aka YADA – Derby – aka the greatest alcohol-free bar concept that came to be!

It started six years ago when two university students were dreaming about how to host combined events between the Christian Union Society and the Rugby Union Team. No easy feat when the two society’s expectations of a good night out vary so differently. The primary factor, though, was that It needed to be a refreshing party, a time for people to relax, let their hair down, and chill with friends. But one that was inclusive to all, including those that didn’t drink alcohol. The reason this was a dream and not a reality – the only places to go out-out in town were dingy nightclubs with alcohol fuelled sick on the floor!

That event never happened. (Sad Face)

But… the story doesn’t end there.

After graduating and meeting with the CEO of a local charity, the idea was rebirthed. A renewed effort to reimagine what an inclusive night out would look like when they removed alcohol from the picture.

And so, the trio got to work. They built a team of enthusiastic and passionate people, keen to see the vision become a reality. And the concept of YADA was born.


The Early Days

Together they launched the concept of an alcohol-free event to the people of Derby. Over the following few years, they hosted regular events in multiple locations around the city with great success. They explored what an alcohol-free nightclub would look like. They toyed with the idea of a late-night lounge cafe. But something was missing.

Pop-ups were great (and continue to be a massive part of YADA’s story – watch this space!) But, the alcohol-free bar movement and the people of Derby were demanding more. To fulfil all that the team envisioned, YADA needed to find its own venue.

How-we-created-an-alcohol-free-bar - The Early Days
How-we-created-an-alcohol-free-bar - Craig Sanding

Time To Re-Focus

In a stroke of luck, faith, divine intervention, good old-fashioned networking, whatever you want to call it, that happened when the team set eyes on a dilapidated, derelict space on Green Lane. They secured the lease!

– – A short interval occurs. – – (Team changes are afoot, a new structure is put in place, the project is revitalised again, and YADA Collective CIC is born!

The Dream Became A Reality

Over the course of nearly a year, the team and the building’s legendary landlord worked tirelessly to transform it into what it is today. A rustic and raw bar, serving the best non-alcoholic drinks on the market. A base that we could pin on the map. A space where visitors could always be welcome. A place where communities could grow. A bar that regulars could call home.

Celebrating Success

Now, some have described it even as being unfinished. We prefer the term constantly evolving! But, on the 25th of June 2022, this bar on Green Lane will have been open and serving the community for an entire year (despite naysayers only giving us six months, and against all the odds). So to celebrate this journey so far, we’re hosting an epic party!

How-we-created-an-alcohol-free-bar - Full Bar
How-we-created-an-alcohol-free-bar - Bar Customers

If you’re reading this tale about how how we created an alcohol-free bar, you’ve likely walked some of this path with us, and we’d love you to join us in raising an AF toast to all that has been and is still to come!

You can find details of the big 1st Birthday Event here.

Come and join us for a night you will definitely remember!