This is good to be open about not drinking and hold yourself accountable by being public with it.
We do have to exist in the world, those of us in recovery, but it is a good point to be careful about putting yourself in a situation that may be triggering. Going to a restaurant that has a full bar service does feel different and then going to an actual bar in my opinion. Although you may not drink at the bar, being in one, smelling the place, remembering times there when you did order alcohol could play tricks with your mind later on when you are not feeling such fortitude in your sobriety.
As far as safety goes, make sure you let somebody else know where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Make sure your phone is all charged up and you have a bit of cash in your pocket. As a lady, I also go out into any situation with my protective gear (i.e. Pepper spray and self-defense tool).
By choosing not to drink, you are already taking a step toward safety. Your judgment will be more clear with a sober mind.
And hopefully, have some fun! Like you said this is just the first step, so even if it is just a practice move and doesn’t go anywhere, it sounds like a good opportunity for you.