No alcohol? No Problem — Sober Positive Nightlife Options are Expanding

A group of friends dancing inside a club with blue and purple lights

Though alcohol use rose during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, more Americans are becoming interested in cutting back or quitting entirely.

The pandemic era has been a rollercoaster for American drinking habits. During the initial phase of COVID-19 lockdowns, Americans saw their drinking rise by as much as 21%. 

But since then, as day-to-day life regained a sense of normalcy (but economic pressures intensified), many Americans have been seeking out more sober positive options, cutting back on their alcohol spending, and thinking more critically about their alcohol consumption in general. 

With the stress and uncertainty of COVID lockdowns behind us, many Americans are looking to make healthy changes. 

Whether that means eliminating alcohol entirely or reducing use, more people are becoming interested in social alternatives to cocktail hours or nights of binge drinking.

Enter the alcohol-free bar. Gothamist recently featured a round-up of new sober hot spots in New York City, where folks can enjoy the glamor and excitement of nightlife without the high-proof alcohol consumption that usually accompanies it.

Looking for a sober bar or hangout in your city or town?

The Sober Bar Finder has you covered. Just plug in your city, town, or zip code to find information about the options near you.

Sober social spaces are great for people in recovery from substance use disorders.

Many in the recovery community have struggled with the alcohol-centric nature of American nightlife — especially those in LGBTQ+ communities, whose social nexus is often a bar or nightclub. Sometimes, it can feel like the desire to socialize and the desire to avoid alcohol have to be mutually exclusive. 

But that appears to be changing. From alcohol-free bars and shops to creative mocktail menus, more options are becoming available as more Americans realize that our social lives shouldn’t have to revolve around substance use.
 

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