Catering both to the sober community and the sober dabblers of Dry January and Dry July, a new sober drinking space debuted last weekend over in Oakland. It's called Bizzy's Dry Bar, and it's operating out of a space that's a coffee shop by day, Black Spring Coffee (2930 Telegraph Avenue near 30th).
As the team behind it explained to KQED, the concept behind Bizzy's is simple: Provide a bar-like social space for non-drinkers and the temporarily teetotaling that serves interesting non-alcoholic beverages. Basically, a fun cocktail bar for those who can't or don't care to drink actual cocktails.
"Having a good time without alcohol — it’s possible, it’s beyond possible!" says Oakland musician Joy DeMert, who quit drinking two years ago.
And one of the co-owners of Bizzy's, Michelle Hill, explains that the concept arose because of how many people she runs into who say they've cut out the booze. As she tells KQED, "I feel like every time I go to a show, there's one more person who's like, 'I stopped drinking.' The ranks are continuing to increase. And that's for all varieties of reasons: some people are in recovery, some aren't."
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We're putting the finishing touches on Bizzy's today for our opening tomorrow! We hope to see you then, and many days after that. Thank you so much for the kind words and support! Visit us Thurs-Mon 6:30-midnight, 2939 Telegraph Ave in Oakland! #harmreductionworks #soberjanuary #drybar #bizzysdrybar #soberbar #mocktails #oaklandca #blackspringcoffee #thingstodoinoakland #notbooze
Certainly the trends appear to bear this out — Millennials (people now aged about 23 to 39) are reportedly drinking less overall, taking health more seriously than previous generations, and beverage companies are responding with more low-cal and non-alcoholic choices.
At Bizzy's, which opened last Saturday and is now open after 6:30 Thursday through Saturday ('til midnight) and Sunday and Monday ('til 11), customers can enjoy non-alcoholic beer and wine, as well as mocktails made with Seedlip — the trendy new non-alcoholic "distilled spirit" line — as well as non-alcoholic versions of whisky and gin. Selections include a Spicy Mojito, and an Old Fashioned made the old-fashioned way, but with NA whiskey. (See the full menu here.)
The Bizzy's crew installed tall black booths in the coffee shop in order to give it a more bar-like vibe, and the lights during evening hours are dimmed.
Hoodline also notes that there's a snack menu that includes a pickle plate, peanut-butter filled pretzels, and cheese puffs.
Coming soon are some traditional bar-type events like a trivia night, and a karaoke night. For now, head over there to get your mocktail fix if you're still trying to toe the Dry January line. The bartenders won't look at you funny if you order a soda.