New alcohol-free bar YADA set to open in Derby

New alcohol-free bar YADA set to open in Derby

An assortment of non-alcoholic beverages Credit: YADA Derby on Facebook

During a time where things have been challenging for so many businesses around the UK, the pandemic has brought benefits for the owners of a new alcohol-free bar in Derby.

YADA hopes to provide a new and fresh alternative for those looking for a bit of variety on their night out on the town – once life returns to normal.

Craig Picton, a co-founder of YADA on Green Lane, talks about the challenges and benefits of setting up a shop during a pandemic.

Our objective is to essentially reinvent the nightlife, particularly in Derby, but the overall gain is across the entire country,” he said.

We think that alcohol [has] hold on the nightlife that it shouldn’t have. We’re not completely against alcohol, three of the directors’ drink and we’ve enjoyed going out and drinking in the past.

We just think that overall, it’s not particularly healthy mix and, and that there are not enough options for those that don’t want to drink or that don’t want to drink every night or whatever. 

He explained that the YADA concept started long before lockdown when he and co-founder Rhondell Stabbana graduated from The University of Derby partnering with Derby City Mission in the initial stages 

We’d had that charity input and almost like a parent organization to what we were doing, and so we had a lot of support from them in the early days. We were hosting pop events [In the Art house] which were going well,” said Craig.

We moved to Bear, and we did a year of [pop up events]. We were doing some Friday evenings there and then there was a bit of a sort of pause on it.

“In November 2019, so just before the pandemic kicked off, we heard about this building, what is now the art building. The owner came to us and said he loved the idea of YADA and [asked us if] we would like to use the building? So, we jumped on the chance. 

He further explained that the Founders of YADA spent the first part of the pandemic working on the building. In the process, they decided to part ways with Derby City Mission so that they could do their own thing and set up officially as a business/Community interest company. 

He added: “So, we set that up, oh my timing is probably off, but in July time officially and since then [we’ve] been continuing to set up the building ready to open when we can.”

Considering the pandemic Craig says they’ve had to ‘pivot’ along the way and have since launched an online store to increase revenue and provide an additional source of income. He added that they are looking forward to welcoming two new recruits and have begun the process of getting them on board.

Ironically, Craig expressed that the pandemic has been a benefit rather than a setback for YADA Derby. 

Originally it gave us more time, which for completely new business upstarts was a massive blessing, I think and because back in March last year, we just weren’t ready to open and so it would have been probably September at the earliest,” he said.

“It also gave us the opportunity to really think about our goals, objectives and work out, are we on the right path and How can we get the best out of YADA.

“Since lockdown, there have been loads of alcohol-free groups, companies, drinks, and that’s been a huge shift, so we’ve been able to use this time to network with all of those and get a real understanding of the alcohol-free scene around the UK, which is definitely growing, which is exciting. 

With all the benefits the founders have also faced numerous challenges as well 

I mean, the fact that we’ve been working from home. We’re all young, we’re all technology savvy, so it’s not been too much of a hardship, but our Internet connections haven’t been amazing, so it meant things like zoom meetings,” said Craig.

“That definitely been a big challenge, and the fact that we haven’t been able to spend as much time in the building, prepping the building as we would have liked.

Craig with Rhondell and Mark, co-founders of the YADA Collective. Credit: YADA on Facebook.

That they’ve been the two main challenges, and obviously the fact that we haven’t been able to open it right? It’s been a blessing in disguise, but actually [we] would have liked to have opened by now. 

An alcohol-free night out with friends at YADA is not in the cards just yet despite lockdown restriction for shops being lifted as of todayHowever, you can purchase alcohol-free beverages from to enjoy at your next garden barbeque.