Back when they were bartenders, Kaylee Clark and Crystal Clark were serving up alcoholic beverages. Fast forward two years, and they’re on the path to establishing Good News Bar, an alcohol-free bar in San Diego.
Transitioning to a sober lifestyle and raising funds for an alcohol-free bar venture comes with its own set of hurdles. In a conversation with One Club Sober, Kaylee and Crystal offer insights into their personal journeys of realization about alcohol, embracing sobriety, and the pivotal choice to open a sober bar that caters exclusively to the sober community.
You went from serving alcohol as bartenders to becoming sober. What made you both decide to choose sobriety?
We’ve both had our own individual struggles with alcohol throughout our lives, attempting to live an alcohol-free lifestyle many times, unsuccessfully. A little over two years ago, we both got sick with Covid for the third time and were forced to lay off drinking.
What we experienced during that time of withdrawing was eye opening as we both were on the verge of being hospitalized. We both made the decision to put down the bottle and be each other’s accountability partner on this journey of yet another attempt at living without alcohol.
As we were both bartenders at the time, this wasn’t an easy journey. We felt isolated, ostracized, and defeated as we began this new lifestyle. Temptation was around every corner, and every relationship in our lives at the time was centered around alcohol and bar culture.
As time goes by, we started noticing the many benefits that come with living alcohol-free and couldn’t imagine life any other way.
What’s the story behind Good News Bar?
It was a Friday night, a few weeks into our sobriety, and we noticed for the first time that there is a lack of options in the social realm for those to unwind without the societal pressure of drinking alcohol. We started dreaming about a solution for this problem, and that’s when Good News Bar was born.
The name Good News comes from a powerful song written by one of our favorite artists, Mac Miller. This song was released early 2020, a pivotal year in many of our lives as the pandemic began. Although it’s a song about addiction and mental illness, it has rays of hope and light that shine through.
The lyrics in this song really resonated with us and showed us the power that addiction can have over you and your life, but also shows you that it’s possible to see the hopefulness of your future. Finding sobriety has brought so much positivity and good news to our lives, and we’re here to share that hope with others.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a drinker, completely sober, or anything in between. We aim to create an inclusive space where people can come together to socialize and form meaningful connections. We foresee Good News becoming a pillar in the community as a positive, uplifting space that gives back by helping those in addiction and recovery.
You must have tried so many non-alcoholic drinks! What are some of your favorite non-alcoholic drinks/brands?
This is one of our favorite questions that we are frequently asked.
When we decided to stop drinking and continue bartending, it changed the dynamics and the passion for creating faded as we weren’t able to taste test and experience the experimental element of mixology. However, with the progression of the non-alcoholic industry, our passion has been re-ignited as we’re able to create again. There are so many amazing brands and products on the market, and these makers deserve the spotlight.
A few of the amazing spirit brands we enjoy are Cut Above, Ritual, and BARE zero proof. On a sunny beach day, we’re reaching for an Al’s Lager, Best Day Brewing beer, or a local favorite, Athletic Brewing.
While we love a good non-alcoholic beer or cocktail, our go-to drink is a beverage with adaptogens & nootropics in the ingredients.
Functional beverages such as brands like Drømme, Hiyo, Curious Elixirs, For Bitter For Worse, and HOP WTR are always highly recommended by us! Oh, and we can’t forget one of our latest obsessions, Tilden cocktails.
What’s the most common question you are asked about your sobriety?
One of the questions we get asked all of the time is why we chose to get sober and how we stay committed to our sobriety.
Our answer to this would be that, as career bartenders, alcohol was causing too much chaos in our lives, and we let it take charge for too long.
We’re able to stay committed to our sobriety by making a conscious choice to better ourselves and our lives every single day. Community and accountability are so important. Once you connect with others on the same journey, it all starts to feel a little easier.
What are some of your favorite bars/ restaurants/ pubs in San Diego that serve non-alcoholic drinks?
We’ve been impressed with the amount of bars and restaurants that have chosen to adapt and offer inclusivity by creating non-alcoholic menu’s. A few of our favorite spots to frequent for a non-alcoholic beer or cocktail is Gossip Grill, Working Class, Kindred, or Barrel & Board.
We highly recommend that people download apps such as BuzzCutt and Dry Spot to help guide you when deciding where to go for a non-alcoholic beverage. Oh, and of course, we highly recommend stopping by Good News once we’re open!
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