Crowd-funding to set up a ‘dry bar’ in Rugby

Karl Newton is hoping to set up a 'dry bar' in the town
Karl Newton is hoping to set up a 'dry bar' in the town

A man who triumphed over his problems with alcohol is raising funds to open a ‘dry bar’ in Rugby.

Karl Newton, 31, had struggled with alcohol since he was 14 and decided to seek help from The Recovery Partnership (TRP) in Regent Place, Rugby.

Since receiving support from the team, which works with the UK’s alcohol and addiction charity Addaction, Karl has been working hard to challenge the stigma around addiction.

“It doesn’t mater where you go, even cafes or typical high street eateries like Nando’s, you can always get alcohol,” Karl said.

“It’s one of the hardest things to avoid if you’re in recovery and not wanting to have alcohol, because it’s pretty much everywhere.”

Karl hopes his ‘dry bar’ will offer a place for people to have a good time, enjoy a non-alcoholic drink and also provide a community space for activities.

“It won’t be just a boring glass of pop or a coffee on sale – we can do mocktails and all sorts of herbal teas. The possibilities are endless,” Karl said.

He hopes the bar will also offer skills classes such as cookery, writing, and art, as well as provide meeting rooms for local groups and charities.

The venue would also offer employment opportunities for people who are rebuilding their lives. Karl also wants to set up a lunchtime radio show to help ‘fill the void’ and keep him busy.

Karl has been in recovery for 11 months. Speaking of his battle with alcohol, he said: “I walked up to The Recovery Partnership and said, ‘Look, I’ve got a problem, I need a bit of help’. Thanks to their support and group sessions, I’ve now been in recovery for 11 months. It was very difficult in the beginning and it’s still a daily battle but I find it empowering to research the effects of alcohol and addiction.”

Karl has set up a crowd-funding page and hopes to raise £20,000 for the ‘dry bar’. Visit and read Karl’s blog at