We caught up with Donna Campbell, who has set up Cafe GRO, a new alcohol-free venue opening on the City’s Saltmarket this month.
The venue will offer food, drink, acoustic nights, a pub quiz: everything you’d expect to find at your local, except the alcohol.
Donna explained why she decided to open the pub.
“I’m in recovery myself, I have been for a long time, and it’s really hard to find somewhere that’s not all about alcohol. Most of the coffee shops in the city close at tea time.
It’s not just about people in recovery. Lots of people want to avoid alcohol, whether it’s for religious reasons, because they want somewhere they can bring their family or because they’re that wee bit too young to go to pubs.”
The Cafe formally launched on March 6 and will start trading some time in the middle of the month. We’ll be heading along for a wee night out there once it opens, and we’ll post a review to Mind Waves.
Donna explained that, as well as being a great place to go, it will also offer opportunities for people to get involved in volunteering and employment.
“When you’re in recovery, you need aspirations. That’s what keeps you going. A lot of volunteering opportunities for people who are in recovery are in addiction services, but this offers something different. It’s about learning new skills that have nothing to do with your past.”
The cafe is looking for volunteers who have been in recovery for more than a year, who can commit a couple of days a week.
If you’re interested, email info@