The Bone Dry Sober Bar popup takes place Nov. 4 at Studio Van Ness at 2055 San Joaquin St. in Downtown Fresno from 6-9 p.m. Photos by Ian Landis
Written by Gabriel Dillard and Frank Lopez
A sobering trend in the world of cocktails is headed to the Fresno area.
Ian Landis of Fresno recently announced on Reddit that the “Bone Dry Sober Bar” popup event would be coming to Art Hop Nov. 4 in Downtown Fresno. It will be held at Studio Van Ness at 2055 San Joaquin St. from 6-9 p.m.
The announcement was also posted on Instagram.
Landis said the idea has been in the works for about a month, but the inspiration for the Bone Dry Sober Bar was born on Dec. 15, 2019.
“I was a considerably hardcore alcoholic,” Landis said. “I quit drinking that day and never drank since.”
One thing he noticed with his newfound sobriety was that bars and nightclubs didn’t offer many options for nondrinkers — maybe canned sodas or non-alcoholic kombucha at most.
“Bars and pubs can be uninviting for people who don’t want the influence of alcohol,” Landis said.
Seeing that need, Landis’s ultimate goal is to open a brick-and-mortar sober bar somewhere in Downtown Fresno’s Brewery District. Next week’s popup event — his first — will be a “dry” run.
“I’m really looking to make a place where everyone can belong,” he said.
“Mocktail” specials on offer will include the “Wildfire Season” with zero-proof whiskey, cider, bitters and smoke. The “Ghost of Summer” features zero-proof gin, mint-cucumber syrup, lime and soda. Spirits and soda will also be available. Gin, whiskey, rum and tequila from Chicago-based liquor replacement company Ritual Zero Proof will be served.
Under names such as 0% Non-Alcohol Experience in Tokyo, Sans Bar in Austin, The Virgin Mary Bar in Dublin and Zeroliq in Berlin, a growing number of non-alcoholic bars are popping up across the world. The Associated Press reported that alcohol consumption in 10 key markets — including the U.S., Germany, Japan and Brazil — fell 5% last year. Consumption of low- and no-alcohol drinks rose 1% in that same time period.
Alcohol still far outsells low- and no-alcohol drinks. Drinkers in those key markets consumed 9.7 billion 9-liter cases of alcohol in 2020, compared to 292 million 9-liter cases of low- and no-alcohol beverages. But Brandy Rand with IWSR Drinks Market Analysis told the Associated Press that global consumption of low- and no-alcohol beer, wine and spirits is growing two to three times faster than overall alcohol consumption.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.