How Sober Bars are Creating a New Buzz Around Town

by AddictionCenter |

Sober Bars: A Fun Alternative

Got weekend plans? Maybe you used to be the city socialite, hitting up bars and staying out until daybreak with your friends. But when you’re recovering from an addiction, your priorities change. Going to your usual night-on-the-town spots may pose a challenge with the accessibility of alcohol and club drugs. Should you go out and try to resist the urge of temptation? Or, should you just stay in and watch a movie?

It’s time to ditch rowdy clubs for a different type of nightlife: sober bars. Sober bars, like Lights Out in Lancaster, PA, are bridging the gap between the social scene and alcohol-free fun. Hanging out with friends doesn’t need to revolve around happy hours and brunches with unlimited bubbly. With sober bars, you can still have an exciting night out, without the headache and nauseousness of a hangover the next day.

There are many risk factors that can fuel an addiction relapse. Sober bars provide a safe, social outlet that reduce substance abuse temptations and triggers.

What are Sober Bars?

Until recently, individuals recovering from an addiction had limited late-night options for things to do. Bars, restaurants, clubs and other establishments are flooded with alcoholic beverages and relapse temptations. People may also start to pepper you with questions about your sobriety or try and get you to have just “one drink to loosen up.” After a while, you may decide to avoid nightlife altogether.

“If you’ve stopped drinking, [friends think], ‘Ok, come out and do all this stuff with us,’ but you still have a lot of work to do. And then the [addict] is like, ‘Oh yeah, why can’t I just have one drink?’

- Tess Brigham, marriage and family therapist

With more people seeking treatment for substance abuse than ever before, sober bars are a trend that have caught on quickly. As an idea that started in Europe, alcohol-free bars are now popping up in cities throughout the United States.

You can sip on mocktails – spiritless cocktails – and other alcohol-free beverages at sober bars without facing the temptation of old habits.

Sober bars provide a wide range of nonalcoholic beverage options such as:

  • Club sodas and lime
  • Arnold Palmers
  • Nada daiquiris
  • Shirley Temples
  • Virgin Daiquiris
  • Mock champagnes

Just like any other bar, sober bars have plenty of games and entertainment. From pool tables and video games to TVs, darts, ping pong and live bands, there’s always something to partake in. Some sober bars have contests and different nightly events – trivia night, karaoke night, 80s night and sports night – to draw in crowds.

A Safe Place for Everyone

Sober Bar ActivitiesSober bars aren’t just for those in recovery. Many establishments have reached a broad audience, made up of different ages, genders, ethnicities or beliefs. For example, sober bars provide a safe, fun environment for pregnant women, individuals who abstain from drinking for religious or personal beliefs, those who are health conscious, as well as young adults who are under 21 years old.

It’s a good, healthy environment. It’s the exact same concept as your local neighborhood bar except without alcohol.

- Chris Reed, president of New Directions Addiction Recovery Services

Patrons of sober bars are generally looking for somewhere to hang out without the pressure to drink or experiment with drugs. It’s also a great way to meet and connect with sober peers around your local community. You can dance, play games and have a great time with those around you without the pressure to get drunk. Sober bars offer a unique alternative for a friend’s night out, celebration or other party.

Bars, pubs and clubs can turn risky when people consume too much alcohol and begin acting inappropriately. Sober bars offer a safe environment to relax and have a good time.

How Can You Maintain Your Sobriety?

As sober bars continue to expand into different regions, you will meet new friends who support and encourage your sobriety. Your friends will be there to celebrate your recovery milestones and will lift you up through challenging situations.

Sober bars offer a safe haven and an outlet to those in recovery, as well as other community members.

Substance abuse may be part of your past, but it doesn’t need to be part of your future.

Sign-up for our newsletter

Vital perspectives on fighting addiction delivered straight to your inbox.

    What does it mean that this site is brought to you by Delphi Behavioral Health Group?

    We strive to be fully transparent in all of our relationships. To that end, we want you to be aware that AddictionCenter is compensated by Delphi Behavioral Health Group for the work AddictionCenter does in the development and operation of this site. Delphi Behavioral Health Group was carefully vetted and selected to be a trusted provider and partner with AddictionCenter, based on the quality of treatment that Delphi provides and their rigorous commitment to ethical practices. Learn more about why Delphi Behavioral Health Group is a trusted provider with AddictionCenter.

    All calls to numbers on individual facility listings will always go to the facility listed. All calls to general contact numbers and contact us forms on this site are routed to Delphi Behavioral Health Group. If Delphi Behavioral Health Group is unable to assist with a particular need they are committed to providing direction and assistance in finding appropriate care.

    Get 24/7 help now. All calls free and confidential.

    (855) 826-4464

    Take control of your life

    Our treatment specialists offer 24/7 assistance.

    • Access to top treatment centers
    • Caring, supportive guidance
    • Financial assistance options

    Call now:

    (855) 826-4464


    Have us call you:

    (877) 746-0480

      Where do calls go?

      Calls to numbers dedicated to a specific treatment center profile will be routed to that treatment center. All other calls will be routed to Delphi Behavioral Health Group.

      Rehab experts are available 24/7/365 to answer and return calls routed to Delphi.

      All calls are private and confidential.

      How do we choose our partners?

      Find out more about AddictionCenter.

      A treatment facility paid to have their center promoted here. Learn more about how to be featured in a paid listing.