Hold the booze: non-alcoholic bottle shop set to pop up in Carytown


Jody Short, the owner of Point 5, came up with the idea of ​​bringing non-alcoholic spirits to Richmond after practicing sobriety during the pandemic. (Photos of Philippe De Mott)

A new bottle shop is set to open soon in Carytown with one catch: it’s all booze-free.

Point 5, the name referring to the maximum level of ABV a soft drink is allowed to have, is in the works at 3435 W. Cary St.

Owner Jody Short, who is also a realtor with Joyner Fine Properties, is currently prepping the 1,000 square foot space and lining its walls with alcohol-mimicking brands, names that make up a small but growing area. growth in the beverage industry. .

Once the home of Dermahue LLC, the Cary Street storefront will house Richmond’s first non-alcoholic bottle store.

“We’re so saturated as a country, as a world, with alcohol, you have to assume you have to drink to have fun,” said Short, 51. Non-alcoholic products aim to feel ‘like an adult beverage, but you’ve got none of the regrets.

One shelf features spirits that attempt to mimic the taste of alcohol without making the buzz, like Lyre’s and Free Spirits. Another rack features brands like Bonbuz and The Pathfinder, more inventive spirits with their flavors.

Meanwhile, a presentation table sits in the middle, adorned with beer lookalikes. Next to it is a fridge stocked with THC-infused water.

Most bottles range from $25 to $40, with the Botanical Melati being the most expensive at $50.

The small size of the burgeoning industry may influence prices, Short said, adding that there are still a minimal number of producers of these drinks and perhaps less than 20 other such stores and a little more than 10 non-alcoholic bars nationwide.

“They’re all made in small batches and come from very intimate companies,” she said.

Short seemed excited to be Richmond’s first standalone store to focus on this industry, but said not everyone might immediately understand the concept. To change that, she plans to hold tastings on certain days and aims for long-term involvement with corporate events, restaurants and bars.

Short came up with the idea for Point 5 after enjoying a long period without drinking during the pandemic lockdown in 2020. The experience also made him realize the lack of options for non-drinkers, at the exception of a few products in major retail stores.

Point 5 will also offer other unique drink options, such as non-alcoholic beers.

Although the venture remained an aspiration for Short for over a year, the project was accelerated when the Carytown space became available after former tenant, Derma-hue Makeup Clinic LLC, moved to the 8501 Maryland Drive at Henrico. Short lease the space for three years from May 1st.

At one point, doubt about the project set in: “About six weeks ago I was like, ‘I’m overwhelmed, I don’t know if I can do this,'” Short said, but got over it. is reminded that, “If I don’t, I’ll never know.

Currently, Short estimates start-up costs have been around $30,000. She financed the entire business with her own funds, continuing her work at Joyner Fine Properties as a real estate agent.

The venue also has a small bar out front, where Short plans to hold tastings.

Point 5 isn’t Short’s first foray into the retail world. From 2006 to 2009, she ran Funky Threads, a local women’s clothing store that closed when the recession hit.

Learning from this venture, she said she aims to have a much bigger web and social media presence with Point 5. At some point in the future, Short plans to start shipping online.

She also hosted a yoga program at her home called Simply Yoga, which ended a few months after Short joined the real estate business. However, that did nothing to stop his entrepreneurial virus.

“I just like starting new things,” Short said. “Whenever I think I’m ready to relax and not do a lot of work, I come up with another idea.”

Short is planning an invite-only opening for Point 5 on June 22 and a full opening on June 23.


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