Sober bar opens in Midwest, recovery folks can party safely

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At the end of April, a new bar will open its doors in Crystal Lake, Ill.

It's got a trendy name, pool tables, televisions, darts and room for live bands and DJ's to make some noise.

But what makes The Other Side different than your regular watering hole is that not a drop of alcohol will be available here — it's a sober bar, where patrons can gather, dance and socialize without the temptation of booze at every turn.

Concept inspired by friend who overdosed

The bar was the brainchild of a group of friends, many of whom have struggled with addiction. After the death of a young pal who had overdosed on heroin, the group got together and came up with a concept that might give those in recovery a fighting chance on a Friday night, when socializing at clubs or bars poses temptation or is not an option at all.

Addicts are well aware of how tough it can be to maintain sobriety when you're in an environment where drinking or using is the norm. Options for sober people are usually limited to things like bowling or the movies.

Profits go to drug education initiatives

"We're still young, and we want to hang out," Chris Reed, 22, told the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Reed is the president of the non-profit group behind the bar, the New Directions Addiction Recovery Center. He notes that everyone who is involved with the bar still has a day job, and that the proceeds from the business will all go to drug education initiatives in the community.

The bar will be open Thursday through Sunday, and its walls will be scattered with pictures of friends who have been lost to addiction.

The group hopes the bar will provide a healthy environment for those in recovery.

Updates about the bar can be found on their Facebook page.

Sources: Counsel & Heal, ABC News Chicago


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