Booze-free dry bars are becoming increasingly common around the world to serve a small but needy clientele — non-drinkers and recovering addicts.
The latest sober bar to join the growing trend is The Other Side, set to open in a Chicago suburb at the end of the month and where the strongest beverage that will be served is an energy drink, reports local newspaper The Daily Herald.
Headed by a recovering heroin addict, the alcohol-free bar will open in a warehouse loft space with couches, TV screens and pool tables, and feature live bands — much of the same amenities offered at a traditional pub or bar minus any potential for booze-fueled shenanigans.
“You can only go to the movie theater and bowling alley so many times,” said Chris Reed, who is spearheading the project. “We’re still young, and we want to hang out.”
The idea for the space was born after a friend overdosed on heroin and died at the age of 21.
It’s a trend that has been growing quietly but steadily over the last few years. In Liverpool, England, recovering alcoholics and drug addicts can also congregate at The Brink, where all profits go towards rehabilitation programs.
But the idea isn’t just for former substance abusers. The owner of late-night lounge Accents in Dublin, Ireland, for example, says she’s trying to make “sober sexy” in a place where teetotalling is stereotyped and seen as “hippy,” she told the Irish Times.
And Mr. Fitzpatrick’s in Lancanshire, England is billed as Britain’s last remaining temperance bar, where customers can order retro vintage-style drinks like Cream Soda, cordial-laced and herbal-infused beverages such as sarsaparilla, rhubarb and rosehip, and blackcurrant and liquorice.