Bars without booze for the sober and “sober-curious”

There’s also Sans Bar, in Austin, Texas, which looks like any other bar, with shelves of drinks and bottled offerings from specialty brands like Dry Soda Co. “We also handcraft our own specialty ‘mocktails’ — things like a rosemary and ginger mule, or a sans-garita, which incorporates lime, agave and apple cider vinegar,” said founder Chris Marshall, who used to work as an addiction recovery counselor.  

He started Sans Bar as a place for people who want to have a good time without alcohol. He started with pop-up events in retail spaces, backyards and parking lots. Now, Sans Bar has a second location in Kansas City, Missouri. The locations, according to Marshall, draw some 40 to 50 people every Friday night. Marshall said Sans Bar is running more alcohol-free events in cities and states across the country this year. So far, the company has hosted in St. Louis, Portland and Alaska.

Marshall hopes to expand internationally. He sees a growing market in public health campaigns such as Dry January, where consumers cut out alcohol for a month. “Dry January, which was this kind of small, inside-baseball thing five years ago, is now a huge marketing opportunity for brands,” said Marshall.

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