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Isn’t a sober bar just a café?

Wait a minute… a bar without alcohol, isn’t that the same thing as a café? This is a question we at SOBERBARS get all the time and all though café’s and sober bars have a lot in common, there are some key differences.



When talking about a café’ or a sober bar, it’s clear that the focus is on creating a warm and welcoming environment for customers to interact with each other. However, each goes about it in different ways. Café’s often have art on display and the occasional open mic, with a large focus on coffee and conversation. Sober Bars create an environment conducive to conversation, but have a much larger focus on entertainment being the driving factor and common bond for the customers. Sober Bars should have a solid offering of Live Music, Open Mics, Improv comedy, Dances, and all sorts of different entertainment choices selected by the community.


A large difference between a café’ and a Sober Bar is the hours of operation. Café’s generally are open early and close anywhere between 5pm-11pm depending on the café. Sober Bars are primarily only open in the evenings and are open late, with closing times ranging from 12am-4am. Sober Bars make community space available to those who want to stay up a little later and want to enjoy entertainment in a substance free setting.​


Café’s offer quality coffees, teas, pastries, and different soups/sandwiches. Sober Bars of course have coffee, but also offer a variety of Mocktails (Non-Alcoholic Cocktails). In addition, the menu will feature many healthy options like some cafes, but will also offer many food choices that are typically associated with bars and restaurants like Nachos, Wings, and Tacos.


These are just three of the key differences between two establishments that serve a large role in building community in society. It is important we recognize the value these “community spaces” bring to our culture, and their part in helping to strengthen relationships in a community. Places where people can share their gifts with each other. Places where old and young can interact and learn from each other. Places where you are accepted for who you are, and not asked to where a label when you come in the door. Places where culture is created.

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