What’s With This New Trend? Sober Nightlife


Sober curiosity is on the rise and nightlife is responding!  As the world becomes more health-conscious, more people are cleansing their bodies, particularly of alcohol.  With that in mind, a new kind of scene is on the rise. The sober bar movement is upon us! 

Not everyone who chooses not to partake in alcohol is trying to beat an addiction, though it may be the first thing that comes to mind.  In this health-savvy society, it’s clear that more people are concerned about what they are putting into their bodies.

Zero-Proof. 100% Health

According to the VOX article entitled The Goods, written by Nicole Fallert, international beer companies are well aware of the movement. Nicole Fallart quotes the brand manager of the US’ Heineken, Ashleigh Phelps, stating

People are more conscious about what they’re putting in their body. We wanted to create a [zero-proof] beer where people felt comfortable waking up the next day and going to yoga or a spinclass or parenting their kids. The insight is really health and well-being.

Fallert’s article also quotes the food and beverage manager of NYC’s Nymphaea, who speaks on behalf of the bar’s array of non-alcoholic elixirs.

Instead of poisoning their bodies, [this generation] is actually seeing what their bodies can do if they were at their efficient maximum…[Younger] generations are more interested in maximizing what they are given instead of hastening the pace of entropy for their bodies, which is what aging is.

Sober Curious? Check Out These Hot Sober Bar locations

Getaway – Brooklyn, NY

Margaret Eby of the bbc.com article The Rise of the Sober Bar gets the lowdown on how Getaway was inspired.  Co-owner Sam Thonis stated that the New York nightlife did not offer a place where entertainment did not involve alcohol consumption.  It was not just Thonis that wanted an escape from the alcohol-driven nightlife

The more I talked to people, some of whom are sober and some of whom aren’t, the more I felt that people wanted that kind of space.

Sans Bar Austin, TX

In The Culturemap Austin’s article, author Kelly Stocker asks the owner and creator of Sans Bar what inspired his alcohol-free vision. 

Over and over, I watched clients and friends struggle and relapse, returning to alcohol, in part because they felt socially isolated…Sometimes, tragically, it ended in death. Seeing this pattern repeat triggered an intense desire to do more than just wish there was a sober bar.

Chris Marshall is the man behind the dream.  He himself has personally struggled in recovery.  In a world where refraining from the drink is a social no-no, he has first handedly witnessed the importance of an alcohol-free destination. 


Redemption Bar

Notting Hill, London 

Shoreditch, London

Covenant Gardens, London

Redemption does not only offer an array of mocktails, but it also offers a food menu vegans have sworn by.  In an article written by TheMA, writer Phil Mellows notes his interview with co-owner Catherine Salway. 

Salway states that she wanted to offer people a healthy choice in a “sexy and cool” environment.  She noticed that bars were not giving any healthy options, leading the health-conscious to find a better alternative.  Salway says that going out in the 90’s was similar to “trashing the body,” and that was the accepted outcome of a night out. 

Today, more people are looking to care for their body, not destroy it. Still, Salway has her red wine from time to time proclaiming she “does not intend to be evangelical” but less alcohol “…is really good for you.”    



  1. The Other Side – Crystal Lake, IL

Christopher Reed, founder of the Other Side sober bar found himself addicted to drugs and alcohol.  At only 16 years old did he begin his path toward alcoholism and drug addiction.

According to the Northwest Herald, Reede had overdosed on more than one occasion eventually landing himself in a psychiatric ward.  At 25 Reed attended his first Alcohol Anonymous meeting and it was all uphill from there.

Like many other sober bar owners, Reed realized there was no place to go that didn’t involve alcohol, or for that matter, drugs.  

When you’re sober, you still want to have that social aspect in your life.

Reed not only created The Other Side, he is also the president of New Directions Addiction Recovery Services.  


More Sober Bar Spots

Listen Bar, NYC

Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, Carroll Gardens

Fig. 19, Lower East Side, NYC

Club Sober Juice Bar & Grill, Cleveland, OH


Influencers for Sobriety

Jennifer Gimenez



Austin F. Cooper