Put ‘dry bars’ in every area, says Liverpool MP

Every area of Liverpool should have a ‘dry bar’ such as The Brink, says local MP Dan Carden who has fought his own battle with alcohol addiction. Tony McDonough reports

Dan Carden
Liverpool Walton MP Dan Carden outside The Brink


A Liverpool Labour MP who fought his own battle with alcohol addiction has welcomed the reopening of ‘dry’ bar and cafe The Brink and says they should be in every area.

MP for Liverpool Walton, Dan Carden, has been open in Parliament about his own alcohol addiction. He is entering his fourth year of sobriety after changing his life through support groups and therapy at The Brink in Parr Street in the city centre.

The Brink first launched in 2011 and claimed to be the first venue of its kind in the UK. It was popular with people who had quit alcohol and others who were often turned off by the city centre’s excessive drinking culture.

Staffed by people who have themselves struggled with alcohol or addiction, The Brink made the difficult decision to stop operating the café once lockdown restrictions were lifted back in 2020, due to the considerable financial impact. It reopened in April this year.

Now it is in the hands of national charity The Forward Trust. It has a new look and serves an array of non-alcoholic beverages, as well as locally-sourced fresh food. It opens each day between 10am and 3pm.

Formerly a member of the Shadow Cabinet, Mr Carden said: “The Brink is an example of a place where new relationships and friendships are created, that supports a new way of life and for many, it has saved their life too.

“Addiction can isolate people, and many have turned to this place as a first step on the road to recovery which has opened so many doors for their future. The Brink should be in every community, not just in the centre of Liverpool.

“One of the biggest challenges we face is the stigma that surrounds drug and alcohol addiction. The false impression is that addiction only affects those on the edges of society or who have hit rock bottom.

“The truth is that it affects people in all walks of life and is a much bigger problem than society has ever accepted, but places like The Brink help to bridge the gap.”


The Brink
The Brink in Parr Street, Liverpool, has reopened its doors


All profits generated at The Brink are being invested back into the Merseyside recovery community to fund the vital work they do across the city.

Mike Trace from The Forward Trust added: “The Brink is a vital cog in the work we do to battle addiction. It offers people who are on a journey to recovery a place to congregate, have fun, and find support. And for those still struggling with addiction, it is visible proof that it is possible to turn your life around.

“The work that Dan continues to do for the recovery community is second to none. He has used his own experience to fight for more funding for addiction recovery services – both in parliament and locally in Liverpool. He is a true friend of The Brink and all its staff, volunteers and customers.”

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