'Quietly confident' - Felixstowe Indian restaurant goes alcohol-free

Owner of the Blue Naan at Felixstowe, Johnny Hussain, with one of his non-alcaholic cocktails

Owner of the Blue Naan at Felixstowe, Johnny Hussain, with one of his non-alcaholic cocktails as the restaurant now has a dry bar. - Credit: Danielle Booden

A popular Indian fusion restaurant in Felixstowe has decided to make its bar completely alcohol-free, and now offers a wide variety of non-alcoholic beer, wine and cocktails. 

Owner Johnny Hussain said he is excited to take his restaurant in a new direction. 

“We’re confident this is going to work,” he said. 

The Blue Naan at Felixstowe.

The Blue Naan at Felixstowe. - Credit: Danielle Booden

“I noticed a lot of people were asking for Cobra Zero, an alcohol-free beer, and other non-alcoholic options. It made me think. 

“Whenever I go to a supermarket, I see their alcohol-free ranges are getting bigger and bigger. 

“I did some research, and this seems to be a growing trend.  

“We bought some products and tried them out with our customers – gins, wines, Proseccos. Alcohol-free options have come a long way.” 

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These new choices proved such a hit with Johnny’s customers, that he decided to make his restaurant entirely alcohol-free. 

A Blue Naagoon non-alcaholic cocktails at the Blue Naan in Felixstowe.

A Blue Naagoon non-alcaholic cocktails at the Blue Naan in Felixstowe. - Credit: Danielle Booden

“I wanted to try a different concept,” he explained. “It is a big risk, and we understand that not everyone will be in favour of it.  

“Some people have asked why we didn’t just leave a few alcoholic beers and bottles of wine on the menu, or let people bring their own alcohol – but then it wouldn’t be a concept. It would just become a bigger drinks menu.” 

He feels that this menu will appeal to many people. 

Johnny said: “Let’s say someone doesn’t drink, or they’re pregnant, or have to go to work the next day. Here, they don’t have to have a glass of water or a coke. They can have nice pink gin and tonic. 

Owner of the Blue Naan at Felixstowe, Johnny Hussain, making one of his non-alcaholic cocktails

Owner of the Blue Naan at Felixstowe, Johnny Hussain, making one of his non-alcaholic cocktails as the restaurant now has a dry bar. - Credit: Danielle Booden

“Some of the pink gins and Proseccos we do are just amazing.  

“We did trials with some customers. I gave them two options, and asked, which of these Proseccos do you prefer? Believe it or not, most people preferred the 0% option."

He is also pleased that these non-alcoholic beverages are often much lower in calories, and so offer a healthier option.

Johnny said that he has received many personal calls and emails of support from his customers. 

“So many people have said they’re going to come in and give our alcohol-free options a try. I’ve already had so much positive feedback from customers,” he said. 

“We’re quietly confident that this will work out.”