For most of us, the word “bar” goes hand-in-hand with the world “alcohol.” No water involved. Bars = drinking and debauchery, right?

Well, not necessarily.

A team of social practice artists in Minneapolis has decided to open the world’s first full-fledged, fully functioning “Water Bar.” That’s right, the only thing to shotgun, chug, or guzzle at this bar is good, old fashioned H2O. For the next year, patrons of the Water Bar will be able to choose from a menu of local Minneapolis tap waters or a sampling of other city tap waters. Each of these drink options has its own naturally unique and subtle flavor. So instead of deciding between a vodka soda and a mojito, you can choose between water from Bentonville or Siloam Springs.

And, of course, the Water Bar has a very satisfyingly punny motto: “Water is all we have.”

GIF courtesy of

The idea for this Water Bar stems partly from a pop-up bar that appeared in the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas in 2014. This original water bar was much smaller than the Minneapolis bar, as it only served three different types of tap water and employed eight “bartenders,” but the idea behind both projects is the same.

These bars are centered upon the same notion, which is that local water systems are of the utmost importance. The artists behind these bars want to emphasize this to the public. They seek to facilitate conversations about water, sustainability, and utilizing local resources. Their hope is that customers will engage in dialogues about these topics while sipping on the non-alcoholic drinks.

Photo courtesy of

This new take on the concept of a bar is certainly unconventional. But it’s bold in a good way, and it’s also pretty meaningful. Why not take something so frivolous, like a place where people try to get drunk and hit on each other, and turn it into something that aims to better our society and intellectually engage us? Sounds like a cool idea to me.

Plus, no hangovers.

If you want to find out even more about the Water Bar, check out this video:

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