DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s first sober bar is open for business in the Jefferson Park neighborhood. Awake offers a full bar with non-alcoholic liquors, wines and beers.
The owners, Billy and Christy Wynne got the idea to open the bar while living abroad in France. The couple decided to quit drinking, but noticed it wasn’t easy to find non-alcoholic beverage replacements after moving back to Denver in 2019.
“It was time to realize the impact alcohol had on my life,” said Billy Wynne. “I wanted to be more mindful, more joyful, and alcohol was getting in the way of that.”
The cocktail bar has a massive selection of non-alcoholic spirits displayed behind the back of the bar that gives its customers the nightlife experience, without the temptations.
“There really aren’t that many places that look and feel like a bar, with the selection of a bar without the alcohol,” said Wynne. “In hindsight it feels almost intuitive that we have these options for people, it just goes to show the power in the indebtedness of the drinking culture, not just in Colorado but across the country.”
Last Saturday during Awake’s opening weekend, customers lined up out the door for a place at the bar.
“We had one person in tears in here last weekend,” said Christy Wynne. “You know that people have been waiting for a safe place where they can go and feel like it’s the good old days, in a space where you don’t have to be around people who are drinking.”
“There is a real appetite for this and I’m feeling like this is something that can grow in the Denver community,” said Wynne.
On Thursday afternoon, FOX31 spoke with customers at Awake, who said they were there to have a drink, simply for health reasons.
“We both have been working on our weight and decided that this might be a good way to cut calories but still be able to enjoy the things we enjoy like beer and wine,” said Judy Burnsteim, visiting from North Carolina. “I think this is a good way for people who may not want to have alcohol in their system, either because they’re driving or they don’t believe in it, for medical reasons, or people who can’t drink. They still get that social aspect of being able to go out and socialize with their friends at the bar.”
Awake’s full bar is open Thursdays from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m., Fridays 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., Saturdays 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.