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The Rising Trend of Sober Bars

by Brandon Schultz

Jul 18, 2019

© Lyndale Woolcock | Dreamstime

Trends / Food & Drink

Studies in the beverage market show Americans drink less alcohol today than in early years and, while bars and clubs are staples of many a social life, they’re increasingly going booze-free. Millennials (now the youngest generation legally allowed to drink in the United States) tend to be more health-conscious than previous generations and more socially aware of public behavior, leaving many of them uninterested in drinking alcohol to excess, or sometimes even at all, in social situations, and leading to the rising trend of sober bars popping up in major world cities like New York and London, and even beyond into several suburbs.

Sober bars offer social spaces without the implied requirement of alcohol in order to relax and unwind, and are finding their client base includes just as many drinkers as abstainers. Whereas attitudes of the past centered on the belief that only those who couldn’t drink wouldn’t, the increasing demand for sober bars seems to show alcohol appreciators are also increasingly looking for alternative hangouts where it’s socially acceptable not to drink.

At sober bars, expect to find diverse menus with drink prices similar to traditional bars and clubs. There may be no alcohol involved, but these mocktails are often as sophisticated as craft cocktails, highlighting quality ingredients and expert mixology. You’ll find alluring interiors and spaces as innovative and inviting as traditional bars and nightlife venues, too. Sober bars and clubs aren’t an afterthought or a second choice, they’re a full-on movement desired by a generation demanding options.

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