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13 November 2014

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You are in: Lancashire > Places > Places Features > Rawtenstall raises the bar

Chris Law - owner of Fitzpatrick's Temperance Bar

Chris Law - owner of Fitzpatrick's

Rawtenstall raises the bar

The last remaining Temperance Bar in Britain is still refreshing the people of Rawtenstall...well over a century after it was opened to sober up the workforce.

Fitzpatrick's Temperance Bar opened in 1890 and is now one of Rossendale's top tourist attractions. 

The Fitzpatricks were a family of herbalists from Ireland who settled in Lancashire in the 1880s.  They set up a chain of Temperance bars throughout Lancashire serving non-alcoholic drinks, herbal remedies and cordial bottles. At their height, the Fitzpatrick family owned 24 shops between them, all brewing drinks to the original recipes brought over from Ireland.

In April 2008, the award-winning Fitzpatrick's Bar was refurbished although the owner Chris Law insists he has retained the tradition and spirit of the original 1890s bar.

Law pours a bit more light on Rawtenstall's most famous bar even though it doesn't serve beer...

Fitzpatrick's Temperance Bar

What exactly is a Temperance Bar?

A Temperance Bar is one of a number of bars, primarily in Lancashire, during the 19th century, that did not serve alcoholic beverages.

Why were they so popular in Lancashire?

Their popularity sprang from the fact that they served a great purpose initially by returning the Lancashire people back as a sober workforce. After that it was completely about the taste of the drinks and the great social atmosphere of the Temperance Bar.

What is the pledge?

The Temperance pledge was set up as a promise, from those who put their name to it, to abstain from partaking in the consumption of alcohol.

What drinks did they sell back in 1890?

• Sarsaparilla
• Dandelion & Burdock
• Ginger Beer
• Black Beer & Raisin

Basically as the menu sits today with seven different flavours. 

How close is it to the traditional bar that opened in 1890?

Very close although we have made a few changes to create more space and keep in line with modern day requirements. We have returned to the menu such drinks as Bovril, Horlicks, Sarsaparilla and Chinese Liquorice, Ovaltine and Vitalo Tonic.

What made you buy an alcohol free bar?

My interest in the bar grew from the friendship my grandfather and Malachi Fitzpatrick had. The Bar always fascinated me and it has and is part of the fabric of Rossendale and its community. I'm certain that most have visited the bar usually as a child with their parents and grandparents passing the tradition on.

Have the recipes changed much from the original recipes?

The recipes were his and we still see the shop as his. Our labels carry the name and we will be greatly extending our product range to include many more of his redundant recipes from drinks to shampoos.

What changes have you implemented?

Mainly changes to companies we use - such as Potters - who were the main suppliers to Fitzpatrick's. Herbal medicine as it was then has changed vastly. I'm not sure Malachi would have approved to these changes.

Who are your typical customers?

A mixture of young and old alike. We get schoolchildren coming in and we also get grandparents bringing in their grandchildren.

What is Fitzpatrick's best seller?

It varies -  Hot lemon & ginger in winter, Cream Soda in the summer and Black Beer & Raisin is popular all year round.

Any drinks more popular with boys than girls?

Boys love Blood Tonic which is raspberry, rosehip and nettle and a lot of girls go for Blackberry and Raison.

Have you served any celebrities?

A great number of celebrities have enjoyed Fitzpatrick's cordials such as Jane Horrocks and the great Ted Robbins! We have had all sorts of celebrities in from MPs to celebrity chefs.

last updated: 01/10/2008 at 17:16
created: 01/10/2008

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Roger
Although I am far from being a Teetotaler (Ah like mi ale) Id love to sup a drink in Fitzpatricks cos it's great for Rawtenstall and I might see Jane H my heroine for all she does for her home town and ceawnty

gillian gosselin
i was born and raised in rawtenstall, and remember as a child going in with my parents,and buying licqorice sticks, I now live in Jersey and visited fitzpactricks after 25 years and was delighted to discover that the shop was still there and that they still have my liqorice sticks. the shop is as fasinating to me now as it was all those years ago.

steve
I RAISE A GLASS IN HONOUR TO A GREAT LANCASHIRE INSTITUTION AS I AM A EXPAT LANCKY LAD AND BACK IN THE SIXTIES AS A CHILD I DRANK LOTS OF HERB BEER SASPIRILLA AND DANDILLION AND BURDOCK HOPE TO SEE YOU IN RAWTENSTALL IN 2008 OR 2009

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