The best way to describe Temperance Bar, a new, alcohol-free, craft-cocktail pop-up in downtown Fullerton, is first to acknowledge what it’s not.
Temperance is not a coffee house, soda joint or smoothie shop. It doesn’t sell sugary, syrupy concoctions.
It’s a place for indulgence, but one that offers healthy food and nonalcoholic craft cocktails with fresh, low-sugar ingredients.
“I’ve been thinking about it more and more and realizing any time something is the norm in any society, I think it’s important to step back and [ask] why,” said Charisma Madarang, who founded Temperance along with friend and fellow Fullerton resident Corky Nepomuceno.
“Why is alcohol always involved in any kind of celebratory event? We don’t even question it. We’re just like, OK, that’s what we are supposed to do. We don’t really think of the aftereffects.”
Madarang is a former contributor to OC Weekly, where she wrote a column called “The Root,” covering the plant-based industry. She is also a former editor at the food and drink blog, Foodbeast.
Nepomuceno operates the site, Fullerton Foundry, promoting the food and beverage scene in Fullerton.
“People don’t always want Coke, or Pepsi or coffee, especially late at night,” she said.
The pair opened Temperance as a monthly pop-up in the space occupied by the Rialto Cafe, a breakfast and lunch establishment in downtown Fullerton which was a Rialto movie theater in the 1920s.
The popular Burger Parlor two blocks away on Harbor Boulevard opened as pop-up in the Rialto space.
“I’m really excited because I think it’s really timely,” said Rialto owner Leslie Morter Brown, on hosting the Temperance pop-up once a month.
“It’s something nobody has done before. I get approached for pop-ups a lot, and I’m pretty particular about who I want to bring into our space and what kind of concept I want to bring in. I’m always a little apprehensive, but Corky had a beautiful concept and the recipes are wonderful.”
Nepomuceno and Madarang enlisted the help of local bartenders and chefs to design a menu of craft cocktails and food items with wellness in mind.
The Tiki cocktail has hibiscus sea salt, matcha and turmeric. A matcha fizz contains yuzu, matcha syrup, aquafaba and matcha powder.
The entire menu notes whether a cocktail is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free or paleo.
The grand opening event on Jan. 17 drew an elbow-to-elbow crowd.
“Temperance is a space where people can explore a healthy alternative, whether you are sober [or] sober curious,” Madarang said. “I think bars like Temperance are a way of disrupting an industry that is considered normal for everybody. I think this is much needed.”
IF YOU GO
What: Temperance Bar
Where: 108 W. Wilshire Ave., Fullerton
When: Open during the evening on the third Friday of every month. A Valentines Day themed event is scheduled for Feb. 21
Cost: Temperance offers about eight cocktails ranging in price from around $7 to $11