The Other Side — Crystal Lake, Ill.
For people in sober living or alcohol rehabilitation programs, it can be difficult to find a place to socialize in the evenings without being tempted by illicit substances. That’s where The Other Side, a nonprofit sober bar in partnership with New Directions Addiction Recovery Services, comes in handy.
“There’s only so many times you can go to the movies or go bowling before it gets old,” New Directions Addiction Recovery Services president Chris Reed said.
The Other Side evolved organically from a 3,000-square-foot empty warehouse space where people would come to hang out after 12-step meetings to a full-fledged sober bar, which officially opened in 2013, featuring a pool table, speakers for music playlists, root beer on tap, and a fridge full of energy drinks for an average check of $3. While the bar is geared toward people in recovery, Reed said that around 20% of patrons every night are just “regular” people who want a low-key space to socialize.
Although the first location has a pretty simple menu, Reed said that they just secured a $400,000 grant to open a wellness café, complete with cold brew and nitro brewed coffee during the day and a possible farm-to-table restaurant at night, with plans to open the second location sometime over the next six months.