Dr. George Koob, director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and researcher Dr. Lorenzo Leggio posing at the hospital bar. Photo: Cliff Owen/AP
... and that catch is that it's completely fake. Instead of booze, the liquid inside the bottles is colored water (but to be extra sneaky, the researchers hid real alcohol nearby so the place smells authentic).
The fake hospital bar is located inside the National Institutes of Health's hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. It's part of an experiment to test the safety of a new drug designed to help heavy alcohol drinkers to quit.
"The goal is to create almost a real-world environment, but to control it very strictly," said researcher Dr. Lorenzo Leggio to Lexington Herald-Leader. Leggio's team is testing how the hormone ghrelin, which creates the hungry signal, also affects alcoholics' desire for alcohol and whether blocking it helps drinkers quit.
Not really! Photo: Cliff Owen/AP
But if you're craving for drinks while at the hospital, there's hope: all you have to do is move to France.