New wave of bars creates buzz without booze

Washington, Mar 16 (AP): There’s something missing from a new wave of bars opening around the world: Alcohol. Aimed at the growing number of people exploring sobriety, the bars pour adult drinks like craft cocktails without the booze. At 0 per cent Non-Alcohol Experience, a futuristic bar in Tokyo, patrons can sip a mix of non-alcoholic white wine, sake and cranberries from a sugar-rimmed glass. On a recent evening at Sans Bar in Austin, Texas, customers gathered at outdoor tables, enjoying live music, bottles of alcohol-free IPA and drinks like the watermelon mockarita, which is made with a tequila alternative. Sober bars aren’t a new phenomenon. They first appeared in the 19th century as part of the temperance movement. But while previous iterations were geared toward non-drinkers or people in recovery, the newer venues welcome the sober as well as the curious. A lot of people just want to drink less, said Chris Marshall, Sans Bar’s founder. Marshall, who has been sober for 14 years, opened the bar after serving as an addiction counsellor. But he estimates 75 per cent of his customers also drink alcohol outside of his bar. It’s just easier, said Sondra Prineaux, a regular customer at Sans Bar.

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