Sober Bars and Alcoholism Recovery
A person in recovery for alcoholism may find that their social activities take a major hit. After the initial process of rehabilitation is done, trying to re-enter the world of friends, parties and other forms of socialization is a major challenge to even the strongest participants in the recovery process. Naturally social people may wish to continue their engagement, but their recovery status leaves them with new boundaries and parameters to consider while navigating this new space. Thankfully, there is a new trend of sober bars popping up in many cities, both in the US and on the global scene.
Sober Bars: Not Just for Those in Alcoholism Recovery
According to the BBC, 52 percent of adults in the US are actively trying to limit their intake of alcohol. Furthermore, beer sales in the US are also declining. A report in The Atlantic reveals that this could also be a generational trend, with many Millennials choosing not to drink. Those who do drink have cut down on the frequency. Other patrons choose not to drink simply for health reasons, but they don’t necessarily want to skip out on having fun. While the exact reasons for cutting down on alcohol use vary from person to person, it’s clear that the lifestyle is picking up steam. This trend lends itself to an upswing in the need for sober hot spots.
Given such varied and robust interest, sober bars cater to many demographics and do not restrict patronage to just recovering alcoholics. This is good news for those in recovery, as they are less likely to feel like a fringe member of society inside of a sober bar. There are customers who choose not to drink at all. There are patrons who are curious about the scene inside of a sober bar. There are pregnant women who can’t drink but still wish to maintain their nightlife. There are also students who aren’t of legal drinking age but hope to stay integrated with their peer groups. For all these categories, sober bars are a solution and a solid alternative for those looking to go out, have fun, and not have it be tied to alcohol consumption.
The Vibe of a Sober Bar
A sober bar offers a different environment than a typical restaurant/bar. Many patrons of sober pars are looking for an outlet for all their energy and so participate in karaoke, dance on tables, and listen to loud music. Billiards, ping-pong and even indoor smoking rooms are also available in some locations. Sober bars are a place to cut loose and get wild but without alcohol and the risk of the dreaded hangover; some patrons really love the fact that they don’t have to contend with the smell of beer. In support of those patrons who do have issues with alcohol, certain spots have even banned Non-Alcoholic beer, which, despite its label, can have 5 percent alcohol. Some bars offer kombucha as an alternative.
Locations of Sober Bars
Like so many other business endeavors, sober bars are not limited to the United States, as they gain traction on a global scale and find homes in vibrant locales like:
- Brooklyn, NY
- London, UK
- Dublin, Ireland
The London location is named “Redemption” and actually has three locations within the city. In Dublin, “The Virgin Mary” is a sober bar that just opened in January. Within Arizona, “The Yard” is a sober bar with locations in both Tempe and Phoenix.
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An Old Concept
Sober bars are actually a re-emerging trend and not a new concept. The existence of sober bars can be traced as far back as the late 19th century when the temperance movement was in full swing. During this time, complete abstinence from alcohol was promoted and as such, there were so-called temperance zones; many of these bars lied within those zones, namely Fitzpatrick’s Temperance Bar, founded in 1890. Root beer is still one of their most popular drinks.
There are many outlets available if you or a loved one wishes to start on the path to alcoholism recovery; being alcohol-free is not a lifetime sentence to house arrest. SpringBoard Recovery is a great place to start that journey and we encourage you to reach out.
- Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/alcoholism/basics
- BBC: https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20190510-can-you-have-any-fun-at-a-bar-with-no-booze
- Huffpost: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/19-great-places-to-travel-for-non-drinkers_n_5b18cf0ae4b09578259f0033
- Tempest: https://www.thetemper.com/sober-bars/
- Verywell mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/what-exactly-is-recovery-67303
- USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/health/2019/07/02/alcohol-recovery-sober-bars-health-alcoholism-social-drinking/1593676001/
- CBS News: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sober-curious-alcohol-free-bars-events-changing-what-nightlife-looks-like/
- The Manual: https://www.themanual.com/food-and-drink/best-sober-friendly-bars/
- Evening Standard: https://www.standard.co.uk/reveller/bars/redemption-the-boozefree-bar-my-wild-night-on-the-wagon-a3168126.html
- The Good Trade: https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/sober-things-to-do-instead-of-drinking-alcohol