The National Digest

Nondrinkers Seek Healthier Social Lifestyle at ‘Sober Curious’ Bars

Carolyn Hilliard had long yearned for a space where nondrinkers could have a “social, night-life feel without alcohol.”

So Hilliard, who stopped drinking three years ago, decided to create one herself. She and co-founder Heather “Donny” Donovan launched Empath Sober Bar, a pop-up dry bar.

The pair host events throughout Pittsburgh that feature handcrafted nonalcoholic mixed drinks, while still maintaining a bar-like vibe.

“So many events revolve around alcohol and people feel obligated to drink. It’s such a social activity, and our society is so alcohol-centric that people can feel left out when they’re not drinking,” said Hilliard, 36, of Pittsburgh. “My vision was to create a safe, fun and comfortable environment with a sober bar that serves delicious, creative drinks.”

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