back to top

This Michigan Bar Doesn’t Serve Alcohol And Its First Night Was Packed

I'll have three, please.

Posted on

Brillig is the brainchild of former chef Nic Sims, who runs the pop-up out of her husband's coffee shop. Sims told BuzzFeed News that she quit drinking over 20 years ago.

Courtesy of Nic Sims

Sims said that the "recovery community" has been important to her since her teens and includes many of her family members and friends.


...a Brooklyn Egg Cream, which represents Sims' native city...

Sims also said that she realized the café could be turned into "a fun place on a weekend night without the ever-present TVs and alcohol in a bar."

Courtesy of Nic Sims

She added, "And I love everybody, so why not invite them over?"

The bar had its first night of service this past Friday and it was a smashing success.

Courtesy of Nic Sims

Sims says she is aiming to make the pop-up "monthly at the minimum."

Brillig's first customers included former drinkers, pregnant women, Muslims, teenagers, and college kids.

Courtesy of Nic Sims

Sims told BuzzFeed the event was one of the most diverse nights she has experienced in Ann Arbor. Customers left comment cards complimenting the vibe and vision of the bar.

Sims has received some backlash, but insists the dry bar is not anti-alcohol.

Courtesty of Nic Sims

Sims says that she wants "energy, music, games, loud conversation, laughter," and "all the fun of going out with your mates in a safe place where you can drink whatever you like and have no regrets."

Ahmed Ali Akbar is a podcast host for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Ahmed Ali Akbar at

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.