YADA Collective in white

YADA Collective

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

Follow us


What are you looking for?

Alcohol-Free Drinks

Should The Owners Of An Alcohol-Free Bar Drink Alcohol?

Spoiler / Disclaimer – We Drink Alcohol! I thought it was important to get this out in the open as soon as possible – the founders of YADA, Derby’s first alcohol-free bar, are not tee-total.

At the time of writing this, YADA’s following is in the early adopter’s phase. A group of people who have caught the vision and see the potential. However, this group is made of up people who already know us (the founders) as people. Friends that we dragged to our first events and like our photos on social media. Parents, who often ask “are you sure this is a good idea?” And the keen ones who were in for the ride on day one! But as YADA begins to grow out of our immediate circles and attract a more diverse following, we are aware that assumptions are easily made. So, in the name of transparency, we wanted to set the record straight now.

As we pursued these questions, we realised that people’s relationship with alcohol wasn’t as black and white as we anticipated. In fact, we found that the majority of people landed in the large grey area. With the minority being in the extreme sections of alcohol-dependent or tee-total.

Questioning the Norm.

Unfortunately, our story isn’t the most inspiring – it would have been more interesting if one of use had gone through the hardships of being an alcoholic, turned their life around and started a non-alcoholic bar. But that isn’t us.

Like most ideas, YADA started off by questioning the norm. Is it possible to have a great night without alcohol being the driving influence? And could we create a space you can have all the fun of going out, without the hangover in the morning?

Even amongst us as founders, our relationship with alcohol differs.

I’m probably known for drinking the most out of the three of us. We are all “social drinkers”, but with my extrovert nature I am out and about more and therefore drink more. But there is definitely a fluidity to this spectrum. I drink way less than I did a few years ago, and since the 2020 pandemic, I haven’t really drunk much alcohol at all. I’ve found alcohol-free alternatives to be both better for my health, and in many cases, equal if not better in taste.

We all have our own backstories and our drinking habits continue to shift with our changing lives.

We have spoken to people on all levels on this spectrum and no matter who we shared our vision with, we normally got a positive reaction!

People who don’t drink at all are excited for a new place to hang out. Those who love a drink have said YADA is needed as sometimes they don’t fancy drinking alcohol. And the diehard pub fans tend to say “isn’t that just a café… but sure I think I would go”. So, no matter what your relationship with alcohol, we believe YADA will be the place for you.

So back to my original point – as the founders of YADA we are unashamed by the fact that we drink alcohol, and we are also unashamed that we believe an alcohol-free venue is needed in the night-time economy.

If you do however want to do a quick spot check on your relationship with alcohol, check out the ‘Am I alcohol dependent?’ page on the Drinkaware site, which features an Alcohol Self-Assessment test.

This blog was distilled by Rhondell Stabana