The sober curious movement has really taken off over the past few years. People are looking for alternatives to traditional, alcohol-heavy nightlife, and sober bars around the country are rising to the occasion. If you want to enjoy your night out without worrying about what will be on the drink menu, here are a few incredible sober spaces to add to your travel list.
Sans Bar is Austin, Texas’s first sober bar. Inspired by founder Chris Marshall’s work as a counselor, Sans Bar is a place for people to form deep and meaningful connections without the presence of alcohol. On top of their regular hours as a bar, they also organize weekend alcohol-free camping trips, zero-proof happy hour workshops, and the Sans Bar Academy, an online course that helps connect people within the NA space and teaches them how to open their own alcohol-free bars and pop-ups.
Umbrella Dry Drinks
Umbrella Dry Drinks is a non-alcoholic bottle shop and tasting room in Alexandria, Virginia, right outside Washington, D.C. It was founded in 2021 by Sam Kasten after she realized just how inaccessible sophisticated non-alcoholic drinks were to most people. With help from the Sans Bar Academy, Kasten launched Umbrella Dry Drinks with the express purpose of bringing elevated zero-proof cocktails and drinks to a wider audience. Today, they offer a wide selection of zero-proof options in their bottle shop, and organize pop-up events and private parties in the DMV area.
Alt Bar in Rochester, New York is “an alcohol-free alternative for people who don’t want to make alcohol the center of their social experience.” Created by Bob and Meg Hartman, Alt Bar is all about creating pop-up events that replicate the fun, comfortable environment of a bar, but with zero-proof options that anyone can enjoy. They also offer a bottle shop where people can stock up on their favorite non-alcoholic spirits and ready-to-drink options.
Ocean Beach Cafe
Ocean Beach Cafe is a non-alcoholic café, bar, bottle shop, and private event space in San Francisco, California. The space, owned by Joshua James, is just steps away from the beach in Outer Richmond—San Francisco's coastal gem. It provides a laid-back, comfortable environment and offers everything from mocktails and snacks to zero-proof mixology classes.
The Volstead by Unity
The Volstead by Unity in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a non-alcoholic bar and vegan restaurant built on fostering community. It was opened in 2022 by Robert and Arielle Ashford as part of a social enterprise group called the Unity Family. The Volstead is a recovery-friendly workspace that employs those in sobriety and returning from incarceration, with a commitment to pay every member of the team a fair and liveable wage. They offer sustainable, vegan plates and zero-proof cocktails, plus more zero-proof options in their bottle shop.
More sober bars, bottle shops, and events are opening every day. Look into what alcohol-free spaces are popping up in your area, or build a sober bar in your very own home with the help of our zero-proof cocktail boxes.
Subscribe to Raising the Bar and make your own bar-worthy zero-proof drinks at home!