The Leader podcast: welcome to London’s first alcohol-free off-licence


f you’re still nursing the post-New Year blues or hope to cut down your drinking a bit for ‘22, London’s first alcohol-free off-licence has opened as a pop-up in the West End.

The shop is run by former Islington Liberal Democrat councillor Laura Willoughby, who founded her Club Soda startup to help people with “mindful drinking”, spurred by an energy boost after giving up alcohol herself a decade ago.

Now, the month-long pop-up on Great Portland Street is stacked with low and no-alcohol drinks, from beer to vodka and even pre-mixed negronis.

It comes as the British Beer & Pub Association said Britons were set to drink nearly 8 million pints of low-and no-alcohol beer this month amid Dry January resolutions.

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