DeKalb should introduce non-alcoholic bars to residents

Holly New

The definition of “bar” could soon see a change.

The Other Side is a bar setting to open sometime this month in Crystal Lake. What makes this bar so different is that it won’t serve any alcohol. One of the goals stated on The Other Side’s website is “To provide a safe and fun environment for people living a substance-free lifestyle.” This “bar” is meant to be a place for adults to get together and have all the fun associated with a night out, but without the drinks.

I find this idea revolutionary. Alcohol has become so socially acceptable that recovering addicts might have trouble finding places to hang out without the temptation of alcohol. The Other Side plans to change that.

“The fact that [Crystal Lake is] a rural community with little in the way of entertainment outside of parks, a movie theater and bars is another obstacle which we have to overcome,” according to The Other’s Side’s website, the-other-side.org. “The Other Side provides a unique, substance free, social setting in our area and its presence in our community will help combat these obstacles.”

What makes this club different than other non-alcoholic clubs, like Zero Gravity in Naperville, is it’s geared toward adults, not the teen population. Adults who choose not to drink should be able to have a place where they can socialize and let loose.

I definitely think the idea of a non-alcoholic bar is something students at NIU should consider.

First of all, bars exclude a significant population of students. For those of us younger than 21, getting into bars can be a bit tricky (you know, the whole law thing). Students instead have to make alternate plans for Friday night, and this could cause a group of friends to have to split between venues. Age wouldn’t have as much of a factor in making plans.

Another reason would be the obvious negative effects of alcohol. These aren’t necessarily alcoholism and DUIs, although those are enormous problems. Even things like fights and bad hangovers can be avoided with the omission of alcohol. While I’m not a drinker, I don’t think alcohol is necessary for a fun night out. Wouldn’t a sober night on the town be a refreshing and perhaps sobering experience?

Socializing could become much more meaningful. Meeting that cute girl or guy at the bar (and actually remembering their number) could be a lot more fun when one is not inebriated. While I can’t conclude from personal experience, I would imagine relationships are easier to make when each person isn’t in a drunken stupor.

Sober-living individuals should really stand behind this idea. Not only would a non-alcoholic bar provide a place for recovering addicts to hang out without fear of temptation, but it could have a positive impact on the community. Each person that chooses to make a night out alcohol-free reduces the risk of problems for society as a whole.

Let’s revolutionize the meaning of a night out.