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Brillig Dry Bar Is a Sucess


Brillig Dry Bar-No Alcohol is served
Photo By: The Ann Arbor News

Brillig Dry Bar Came Back For Their Second Alcohol-Free Pop-Up in Ann Arbor

Nic Sims experienced something while she was overseas in England that would change her life and has caught the attention of the people in the Ann Arbor area. While spending some time in England, Sims experienced what they call a dry bar. A dry bar is exactly what it sounds like. It is a bar in every sense of the way but one, no alcohol is served. The Brillig Dry Bar has live music, crowds of people, interesting drinks, snacks, and conversation, but they do not serve alcohol. Sims envisioned her new business as a place for people in recovery. She thought of it as a place for people that are unable to drink or are not interested in drinking for any number of reasons. She just wanted it to be a place where people could come and enjoy themselves, without alcohol.

So what did the people of Ann Arbor think of her dry bar concept? She was a little worried at first, but the community loved the concept. Now Brillig has made its second appearance last Friday and did extremely well. During the first Brillig pop-up, Sims passed out survey cards asking numerous questions about the experience and ways they could improve the atmosphere and experience. Around 75 cards were turned back into Sims, with praise and positive feedback about her amazing concept.

Last Friday, she adjusted her concept to fix the needs of the crowd more. Sims explains, “Some of the responses were easily actionable. Some of those things we’re going to test out this Friday.” Sims continued on, “I’ve got a lighting plan that’s dimmer and more bar-like. We’ll have a backdrop up behind the stage and prettier lights. They said they wanted more of an ambience, and we’ll give them more of an ambience.”

Sims also worked out a drinks menu with a deeper selection. This menu included items like, a pumpkin spice chiller for 4 dollars, a Vernor’s cranberry sour for $3.50, and a Brooklyn egg cream for $3.50. These are just a few of the reasonably priced drinks on the new menu, along with her snack menu. The dry bar takes over Mighty Good Coffee, a cafe that is owned by Sims’ husband David Myers. With the overwhelming response Sims is receiving, she may need to open her own venue. Sims stated, “We asked people how often they would come, and the responses ranged from twice a month to twice a week or even more frequently.” Sims envisioned, “We have a big enough population and a broad enough reach that we could run it at least twice a month.” Sims explained she is in the process of planning out the next few months for the future of Brillig pop-ups. She plans to expand into theme nights, live performances, and even a potential shift into Saturday nights. This positive concept is taking off, and hopefully will be popping up across the country. Brillig Dry Bar takes over the Main Street Mighty Good Coffee located on 217 N. Main St., in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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