Hinterland: Alcohol-Free Bar and Café opens in our Basement

Three men in non-alcohol bar

Hinterland is a new alcohol-free bar and café nestled in our basement space. Sanghadhara, Stephen, Tom and an army of volunteer friends have been working hard to transform the basement and the change is palpable! Many of you will have fond memories of visiting Earth Café in this space. We’re really excited that we’ve now got a new exciting Buddhist business opening here!

Hinterland is about creating a space where people can develop meaningful friendships and have deep conversations without the need for booze, says Stephen.

Stephen gave up drinking five years ago after a difficult battle with alcohol addiction. Like so many people, drinking started out as a way to see my friends, but soon after that, it became the only way I would hang out with my friends. My social life became centred around drinking, and this made it very hard for me to realise that I had a problem with alcohol.

When I later on started struggling with depression and anxiety, I would resort to alcohol as an escape from these difficult emotions. Because alcohol was so socially accepted and ubiquitous, I didn’t realise how problematic my behaviour would end up being.

Man pouring a drink

The turning point in Stephens’s relationship with alcohol came when someone working for a sobriety charity told him, If alcohol is costing you more than time and money, you’re an alcoholic.

Going through recovery was an isolating experience for me, as nearly every social activity would be centred around drinking, and this would end up being too triggering. Now, after five years sober, I hope to offer a space for people to socialise, creating meaningful friendships without it being focused on alcohol.

We’ve noticed that it’s not just people with a problematic relationship with alcohol who want to skip the booze. There are lots of people who wish they could have a space to hang out with friends on a Friday night without having to get wasted. Hinterland is there for all of those people.

We want to offer an alternative to the typical noisy bar scene that’s calmer, more mindful, and emphasises quality social interactions,” Jeffreys explains. It’s about creating a relaxed space to foster friendships and enjoy good company without the need for alcohol.

One way the space will help you make meaningful connections is through Conscious Connection Cards. These small cards will be on tables in the bar, with thought-provoking questions such as How would your younger self feel towards you as you are now?, or What is one thing you’d be doing if you had no fear of being judged?.

Hinterland welcomes anyone who is sober, sober-curious, or just looking to socialise without alcohol. The space will be open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm, and Sundays from 11 am to 5 pm

The bar aims to provide a welcoming space for all, regardless of their reasons for skipping the booze.

In progress but welcome to Hinterland
Manchester Buddhist Centre
16-20 Turner Street
Northern Quarter, M4 1DZ
0161 834 9232
• Please contact us by email when we're closed
• Charity registration no. 514937
More about our charity

Opening Times:

• Tuesday - Thursday 11am - 3pm
• Saturday 10.30am - 2.30pm
Bodywise opening
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