The post-winter resurgence of outdoor dining and drinking in Brooklyn is in full swing, and al fresco brunches with bottomless mimosa deals can be found on every corner. But the desire for alcohol is becoming a thing of the past as people increasingly say goodbye to all-consuming Sunday morning hangovers and opt for an alcohol-free lifestyle. According to data obtained by the Wall Street Journal, “U.S. alcohol volumes dropped 0.8% last year.” And interestingly enough, the group that seems to be drinking the least is millennials.
Facing a steady decrease in alcohol consumption, distributors and bars are looking to offer non-alcoholic alternatives. New Greenpoint spot Getaway has the ambiance of a traditional trendy cocktail bar — the only difference is its completely alcohol-free menu, which is curated with craft beverages like the “Trip to Ikea” (lingonberry, lemon, vanilla cardamom, and cream) and the “Paper Train” (lemon juice, tobacco syrup, vanilla, and San Pellegrino Chinotto). They also offer a full coffee bar and cans and bottles including Yerba Mate Soda, Blenheim Ginger Ale, and Fever Tree Aromatic Tonic.
As a sober young person living in Brooklyn, Getaway’s ambiance is what makes it appealing to me. With its pastel color palette, bottles lining the back of the bar, too-cool-for-school bartenders, and completely Instagrammable drinks, it feels like you’re in a trendy bar. The nagging FOMO that sometimes comes from choosing not to drink completely disappears when I’m there. And they’re open until midnight, so you can enjoy a nightcap that won’t lead to a massive headache or a decision you will regret in the morning.
While Getaway seems to be the only fully non-alcoholic bar in the area, there are other sober activities across the city for those who are taking a break from drinking or who live a sober lifestyle. Here are a few of my favorite options for sober summer fun in NYC.
NO LIGHTS, NO LYCRA — A sober dance party in Greenpoint
According to their website, No Lights, No Lycra is a “place for people to come freely in a friendly, non-threatening, drug and alcohol-free atmosphere.” With intentional low lighting, you can forget your fears of being embarrassed by the dance moves you’ve perfected in front of your mirror, and truly dance like nobody is watching. Events are hosted every Tuesday from 8:15 to 9:30 pm, at the Park Church Co-Op.
LISTEN BAR NYC — A sober bar that hosts pop-up events across the city
Similar to Getaway, Listen Bar is an entirely alcohol-free pop-up “bar”. They are currently crowdfunding to solidify a permanent space but have hosted
events around the city. Keep an eye on this spot — it has already received glowing reviews from Refinery 29 and The Wall Street Journal.
DAYBREAKER — Morning yoga and dance party
“Instead of the gym, we hit the dance floor.” Daybreaker launched in NYC and now hosts morning yoga and dance parties all over the globe. With regular events across the city (and even on boats!) and tickets starting around $30, this is the perfect way to start your morning. Each event starts with an hour of yoga, then transitions into a huge dance party. It’s a great way to get the cardio you need while making new friends and enjoying yourself.
CHOCOLATTE — A 24-hour coffee shop and bakery in Crown Heights and Coney Island
As a self-proclaimed coffee connoisseur, I would be remiss if I didn’t include a coffee shop on the list. Chocolatte offers unheard-of low prices (less than $2 for a large coffee!) and a wide variety of mouthwatering desserts, and it’s open 24 hours (Crown Heights only), making it an ideal late-night alcohol replacement.
Whether you are actively living a sober lifestyle or are just looking for new ways to have fun without drinking, NYC offers a slew of options from dance parties to classy mocktail bars. If there’s one thing we are sure about, it’s that you definitely won’t be missing out this summer.