Raleigh’s pioneering non-alcoholic bar – where “mindful drinking meets intrigue” – will open December 31st, 2023, at 14 W Martin St. in the former Garland space with an opening party, and on Friday, January 5th on-going. “At Umbrella Dry Bar, our mission is to redefine the social drinking experience by offering zero-proof craft cocktails and functional, restorative, alcohol-free beverages. We believe in evolving the ritual of ‘having a drink’ into a more inclusive and health-conscious experience. It’s all about conscious sips, clearer connections and cultivating community,” explained Meg Paradise, the visionary founder and co-owner, and the region’s leading spirit-free cocktail enthusiast and sober-curious mother of two. “We don’t serve drinks, we serve guests,” explained Paradise, when emphasizing their philosophy of “leading with love and belonging” when hiring, training and opening this space to the community. Umbrella Dry Bar is poised to be THE destination for exploring an alcohol-free experience, THE retail location for sourcing spirit-free wines, beers and liquor-inspired products, and THE event venue for spirit-free events. (Menu follows)
Tickets for Umbrella Dry Bar’s New Year’s Eve Opening Party are limited, and can be purchased via TOCK and on the website. The $100 tickets will include two cocktails, a midnight bubbly toast with an “intention setting for the new year,” and music by DJ Pdogg. (Guests may order additional drinks and bar snacks from an abbreviated menu.) www.umbrelladrybar.com/NYE
Umbrella Dry Bar’s official opening is Friday, January 5th. Walk-in’s are welcome and encouraged; seating at the bar and front lounge will be available on a first come, first serve basis. Reservations are also available for table and lounge seating. Umbrella Dry Bar’s full cocktail menu with bar snacks will be available Tuesday through Sunday (Tues through Thursday, 4-10pm), (Friday, 4-midnight), (Saturday, 11-Midnight) and (Sunday, noon to 5pm). Check out the menu here: www.umbrelladrybar.com
Paradise, who boasts an impressive twelve-year career with Whole Foods Market’s global team, has boldly dedicated herself to creating a sophisticated non-alcoholic bar experience and lifestyle brand. She first introduced the Umbrella Dry Bar concept in 2022 at wildly successful pop-ups across the city, and then in 2023 as a semi-permanent pop-up – “Umbrella in the Garden” – in Norwood Gardens.
Now with co-owner Kevin Barry – the Raleigh-based entrepreneur, co-founder and COO of the pioneering subscription service, FilterEasy, and property management service, Second Nature – Paradise will open the first permanent location of Umbrella Dry Bar ahead of Dry January 2024. “After meeting Meg and experiencing her passion and commitment and Umbrella Dry Bar’s exceptional cocktails on my thirtieth birthday, I became instantly enamored with this avant-garde concept in the beverage industry and its potential for growth,” explained Barry who has demonstrated a flair for making groundbreaking ideas realize immense growth, and is eager to foster novel and inclusive social experiences.
Ahead of opening, Paradise and Barry tapped bar talent and self-professed “bar nerd” Greg White to lead the bar and kitchen team. Notably, White brings experience and passion for the craft beverage industry – both spirit and spirit-free – to the project, as well as chef experience. In addition to traditional cocktail training and certification – from the Cicerone Program, Canadian and American Whiskey, BarSmarts and the Court of Master Sommeliers, White has also participated in Portland Cocktail Week, competed in the National Coffee Competition and was Secretary of the US Bartender’s Guild for the Triangle area. Most recently, he served as a Saute Chef at Second Empire, and as Bartender at Oak Steakhouse for two years, where he implemented the restaurants’ significant seasonal, spirit-free cocktail program. Other noteworthy roles include barista at Black and White Coffee Roasters and bartender at Foundation – Raleigh’s original cocktail bar. His interest in non-alcoholic drinks occurred long before it was a trend, and he’s passionate about its importance in the hospitality industry. White hosted pop-ups in Virginia as “Mr. McGregor’s Cocktail Shed” as early as 2018 featuring a diverse array of non-alcoholic cocktails, and seamlessly integrated zero-proof cocktails into prestigious competitions, further establishing himself as a pioneer in this evolving landscape.
In addition to expertly crafted seasonal cocktails, the chic and welcoming cocktail bar with seating for 70 – has an intimate feel and features a mural by Erica Ashley Art. The front lounge is designed to encourage interaction and conversation with community, while bar seating for 15 offers a traditional bar experience, and booths, banquettes and cocktail tables provide a classic and cozy cocktail bar setting. Both cocktail service and counter service will be available, and the exterior window will be open for serving on special occasions. In addition to cocktails, the menu will feature casual bar snacks – like falernum popcorn, warm olives, hummus, charcuterie, cheese and even sorbets and chocolate pudding – to enhance the full-service hospitality experience.
Umbrella Dry Bar’s menu and team are proudly educating and hyper-aware of guests visiting for a variety of sober and sober-curious reasons. For this reason, alcohol-free cocktails and products will be identified with the 0.0 designation for those seeking to have strictly alcohol-free experience (as opposed to trace amounts – less than .5% in non-alcoholic beverages). And, all products will be available for sampling, sale and to take home.
In addition to house made cocktails, guests will discover noteworthy spirit-free brands, including Katy Perry’s alcohol-free ready-to-drink apertif, De Soi, Phony Negroni, Ghia — a sparkling aperitif, wine expressions by Joyus, and the spirit alternative, Tenneyson. There is even an intentional and elevated water service. In addition to still tap water, Umbrella will offer a lightly flavored water, Eleve Beauty Water, which benefits from crisp bubbles and adaptogens.
Cocktails on the opening menu include:
Spiced cranberry, Joyus rose bubbles, All The Bitter aromatic bitters (v, gf)
Beeswax-washed Free Spirits bourbon, honey simple, aquafaba, bee pollen. (v*, gf)
Clarified Chai Colada
Chai, coconut milk, lime, fresh pineapple, cinnamon simple, vanilla oil (0.0),
el guapo holiday pie bitters. (v, gf, 0.0)
Daang, look at surely’s temple!
Surely red blend, Tenneyson Black Ginger, citrus lactoleo, Roots Divino Bianco vermouth,
All the Bitter lavender bitters, dehydrated citrus (v*, gf)
I am Mr McGregoroni
Free Spirit Gin, Wilderton Bittersweet Aperitivo, Everleaf Forest saffron vanilla. (v, gf)
*Make it a buch-liato – add local kombucha (v, gf)
Leo Sour: Amaretto sour
Lyre’s Amaretti, lion’s mane extract, Free Spirits bourbon, lemon, aquafaba, bitters
Shimmering Pomm Pomm
Mulled red wine vinegar, pomegranate mollases and juice, soda, glitter. (V, gf, 0.0)
Add Spiritless Jalisco 55 tequila (v, gf)
Guests may also tap into Umbrella Dry Bar online to secure shipments nationwide and pick-up purchases from their extensive selection of non-alcoholic wine, beer and liquor-inspired products to enjoy at home. (Same day delivery in a 30-mile radius is available.) https://umbrelladrybar.com/store