TEESSIDE’S only dry bar will offer a night out with a difference while supporting those with drink problems.

Middlesbrough’s Bar Zero promises to offer all of the fun associated with the town’s existing nightlife without the risk of a hangover.

Situated on Linthorpe Road, the new venue will offer a safe space to socialise and an eclectic programme expected to include a mix of live music, cinema nights and community events.

To be launched later this month, the booze-free bar will serve up food and soft drinks as well as a supportive environment for those battling alcoholism and drink-related problems.

Bar Zero is part of the charity-run social enterprise that recently launched The Fork in the Road restaurant, which offers employment and training to ex-offenders, those with addiction issues and the long-term unemployed.

The bar, which is based above the restaurant, will also create volunteering, training and job opportunities for those in recovery hoping to get into the catering industry.

It is funded by Middlesbrough-based charity CEO Sleepout, which is working in partnership with Public Health England and the Recovery Connections charity.

Andy Preston, chair of CEO Sleepout, said: “Bar Zero will offer those who do not want to drink alcohol a safe and welcoming environment to meet people and mix with friends.

“We led the Public Health England capital bid and CEO Sleepout has heavily invested in The Fork in the Road, with a view to the profits from the restaurant supporting the ongoing future of Bar Zero.

“What we hope is that this can help change lives by bringing people together, which can be motivational, inspirational and develop a sense of identity.”

Teesside band Cattle and Cane and comedian Fran Garritty will perform at the bar’s launch night, taking place on Thursday, January 26.

The band’s singer, Helen Hammill, said: “We feel privileged to be part of this initiative, there’s nothing like it in the area.

“Teesside is full of places selling alcohol so it’s amazing that there’ll be a place people can go without that temptation.”

The bar will be open to the public on Friday and Saturday evenings from 7pm until 11pm from Friday, January 27.

  • Anyone hoping to attend the free launch night should message Bar Zero via their Facebook page.