In NYC there is a bar called The 13th Step where you can reportedly purchase drinks with AA sobriety chips. A bar opening at the end of April in Crystal Lake near Chicago is antithetical to The 13th Step, because it will support sobriety rather than mock it.
The Crystal Lake bar will be a sober bar, called The Other Side, started by a local non-profit group that will provide a healthy atmosphere for people both in and out of recovery who want a sober space to hang out in. For many people who don’t drink, there are few sober spaces to hang out and not participating in the societal norm of drinking can be isolating.
This is especially true for young people in recovery in the suburbs of Chicago or for those who are just out of addiction rehab and need a supportive atmosphere. The Other Side will give the suburban sober community a place to hang out and share experiences. Housed in a warehouse loft space filled with couches, pool tables, TVs, a dance floor, a stage area for a band and a DJ – the only real difference between The Other Side and regular bar is that the drinks don’t have alcohol in them. People will even be carded at the door to make sure they are at least 18 and sober.
The warehouse where The Other Side will open has been used by people in recovery as a hangout spot for some time. At first, it just had a few folding chairs and a boom box, but as the volume of people hanging out in the warehouse grew, so did the idea for The Other Side. The local community and those in recovery banded together and made The Other Side – opening April 27th – possible. The sober bar will be open Thursday through Sunday evenings and the profits will go toward drug education and addiction treatment initiatives.