It seems a strange question to ask, “Can you find a bar that doesn’t serve alcohol?” While we would like to respond by saying “What’s the point?”, we’ll still endeavor to answer this question accurately. And that answer is “Yes.”
Technically, such establishments are known as juice bars. They are places where young and up-and-coming hipsters can hang around drinking strange concoctions of fruits and vegetables while talking about how best to mix politics and the arts. It’s like a modern version of the 1990s coffeehouse, except without a cool TV sitcom to go along with it.
Are There Any Juice Bars for Health-conscious Consumers?
To be fair, not all juice bars are dedicated solely to the politically enlightened. A lot of them are opened to provide health-conscious consumers a place to go where they can socialize while enjoying healthy foods and beverages. Granted, some of their health-conscious menus and decoration choices are over the top.
A good example of a health-minded juice bar is New York’s Elixir. With 11 locations throughout the Big Apple they are one of the larger juice bar franchises around. They also have locations in Connecticut, California, and Texas.
The Elixir menu consists of straight up juices, smoothies, juice cleanses (whatever those are), and a cornucopia of dietary supplements. On your next visit you can pick up your favorite drink and your choice of bee pollen, ginseng, aloe vera, ginkgo biloba, and more. Bonanza!
Are There Any Traditional Bars that Don’t Serve Alcohol?
Believe it or not, there are some traditional bars that stop serving alcohol for special events or during specific holiday periods. For example, in College Station, Pennsylvania, Penn State College implemented a program to stop binge drinking among students on an unofficial school holiday dubbed “State Patty’s Day.” In so doing, the college hoped to minimize the problems caused by annual holiday parties.
According to the Huffington Post, local bars were paid $5,000 each to stop all alcohol sales on the Saturday prior to St. Patrick’s Day. The funds for the program came from money raised through student parking fees collected during previous State Patty’s Day festivities. Talk about irony.
Anyone visiting a downtown bar or restaurant on that day would be unable to purchase any alcoholic beverages. We imagine the Shirley Temples and Roy Rogers were flowing freely. It was probably a good day for coffee as well.
Is There Anything Available to Minors?
For the younger set, by which we mean teenagers and young adults who have not yet reached the legal drinking age, you can sometimes find dance clubs that are alcohol-free. They were all the rage a decade ago in most major U.S. cities. Unfortunately, they are a dying breed these days.
An example of one of these bars is known as Club 3 Degrees in Minneapolis, Minnesota. This place is part of a local church that strives to provide an alcohol-, drug-, and smoke-free atmosphere for people of all ages. Families are welcome until 11:00 p.m., after which it becomes an 18+ establishment until closing time. They have live music, pool tables, and more.
As a side note, alcohol-free dance clubs are just now becoming popular in Europe. Ireland is a virtual hotbed of these types of clubs, for example. But we’re guessing the Emerald Isle is probably farther than you’d want to go on a Friday night when you’re bored and have no date.
Why Would Anyone Want a Bar with No Alcohol?
In the introduction to this post we essentially asked what would be the point of an alcohol-free bar. On the one hand, we’re trying to be sarcastic and witty. On the other hand, it really is a legitimate question.
There are plenty of folks who enjoy the social experience of the bar or nightclub, but for whom drinking is a bad idea. Your cousin-in-law Lenny is just one example. In every group there is one guy who gets a couple of drinks in him and suddenly thinks he’s James Bond with a martini.
In all seriousness, there are folks who are either recovering alcoholics or just don’t drink. Yet they still like to hang out with friends and do the types of things normally associated with bars: playing pool, watching sports, or trying to hit on the ladies with stale pick-up lines that haven’t been used since the days of John Travolta and disco.
As for the rest of us, there is no shortage of bars, pubs, and dance joints where the drinks flow freely. In most major cities, drinking establishments open and close regularly. There’s always a new place to try or an old favorite to hang your hat on. And that’s the beauty of it all.
America is about freedom and choices. If you want to hang out with friends at a bar that doesn’t serve alcohol, go for it. If you and your buddies want to spend the night carousing with a couple of pitchers of beer and a football game, you have plenty of opportunities. There’s no point in asking what the point is in either case. Just go enjoy yourself.