When the Sober Start to Binge
Sober folks just got another reason to binge; they got a new place to do it in too. In fact, conveniently enough, the place is named Binge Bar. The name’s as much an ironic play on the way we look at alcohol these days, as it is a well-devised attempt to refine the way we drink now. More important perhaps, it’s a natural progression into owner Vergie Arandid’s actual life.
“The inspiration actually is sort of an extension of my lifestyle,” Arandid said. “I am going to be six years sober this year. There are so many places where you can get alcohol, but here what we offer is that nonalcoholic twist, a healthier option, an extension of someone’s lifestyle.”
Makes that many someones. As reporter GW Hatchet reporter Kathleen Gianni so helpfully attests, the booze-free biz is in the midst of a veritable boom, “more than doubling its market presence since 2018.” In contrast, “sales in regular beer and wine have dropped.”
That means, of course, a decrease in drinkers. It also means a decrease in drinks being drunk.
Fewer Drinkers; Fewer Drinks
“Not only are fewer adults drinking alcohol today,” writes Gallup’s Megan Brenan, but those who do are consuming less than they have in the recent past.”
“Gallup tracks the number of drinks Americans say they have had in the past seven days,” Brenan continues. “This year’s average of 3.6 drinks includes 34% who say they had no drinks in the past week, 52% who say they had between one and seven, and 13% who say they had eight or more.”
Furthermore, “the latest average number of weekly drinks is the lowest recorded since 2001 and is more in line with reported alcohol consumption in the late 1990s and early 2000s than with more recent readings.”
And that average dates back to 2021, when Gallup had found the number of U.S. adults who reported alcohol consumption shrank from 65% to 60%. And if you don’t think 5% is a significant number, think again. Because, in 2021 figures, it equals over 12.9 million of U.S. adults.
Fewer to Binge
As you might suspect, it also means fewer people who binge. In fact, after Gallup asked U.S. drinkers whether they overdo it at times, it found 18% say they sometimes drink more than they should. That’s “stable and near the low point for the trend tracked since 1978.”
It’s also a huge decrease from the mid-to-late ’80s, when “roughly one in three U.S. drinkers said they sometimes drank too much.”
But just because there are fewer and fewer knock-down, drag-out drinkers, doesn’t mean people won’t continue to binge. It simply means they won’t wake with yesteryear’s ugly repercussions.
A sure sign of sunny days and nights ahead for spots like Binge Bar.
Alas Palm Beach County has yet to get its very own sober bar. However, The Atlantic Current’s Darien Davies recently pointed out that alcohol-free delights can be found everywhere from Mood (up in Tequesta) to Kapow! (on Clematis, as well as in Boca).
What are you waiting for?
The Sober Binge
Healing Properties has been on a sober binge since 2002. There weren’t any sober bars then of course. Heck, aside from Near Beer there weren’t even any sober brews. But there was sobriety. And we binged on that with impunity.
And pride. Great pride. We still do. And every time someone else picks up the proverbial white chip, we help them binge too. Over the years we’ve seen a steady stream of folks show up looking to binge, and it’s been an honor to welcome them into the fold. Over the past year or two though, that steady stream has been gifted a true torrent of sober offerings, and we’ve been eagerly heralding the roar.
We heralded Denver’s Awake; first when we heard about the sober-bar-to-be, then again when Awake actually opened. And though the sober enterprise was a little early to the game (and has since, sadly, closed), owners Christy and Billy Wynne did a world of good for alcohol freedom. And we’re not the only ones who will always be grateful for their visionary efforts.
A Bingeful of Hot Options
In our November ‘21 new sober bar roundup, we heralded Houston’s Sipple, Pittsburgh’s The Open Road, Austin’s Sans Bar and Columbus’s The Dry Mill, as well as a non-alcoholic bottle shop called No & Low. We also praised the age of the non-alcoholic bottle shop, including L.A.’s Soft Spirits, Laguna Beach’s BrightLife Beverage Company, Manhattan’s Spirited Away and NY’s bi-borough Boisson. And, because there’d be no sober bar or non-alcoholic shop without product, we cited alcohol-free craft brews such as Athletic, along with non-alcoholic brethren Partake, Bravus, Surreal, WellBeing, and Brooklyn Brewery’s Special Effects. Then, to prove sobriety is as glamorous as it regenerative, we covered zero-proof offerings from both Katy Perry (De Sol) and Blake Lively (Betty Buzz).
All of which is to say, we’re loud and proud about sobriety; as loud and as proud as anyone would be if they were on a binge.