Omaha’s new Detox Sober Lounge to offer bar experience without the booze

The business idea is geared towards those who are sober and in recovery, but is open to anyone who wants to have a night out without alcohol.
WOWT 6 News Live at 6:30
Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 6:57 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A new bar concept is hoping to gain some steam in the Omaha-metro area, a sober bar.

“It’s new, it’s a new concept so people are like tell me more, a bar with no booze?” says Alexis Lawson, the mind behind the idea.

Lawson is currently in recovery from previous alcohol and drug addictions.

“I had four years sober on June 12, I was addicted to meth, crack, cocaine, weed, alcohol, you name it, it was good I did it,” Lawson says.

Lawson says that while in recovery, fellowship is vital to your success.

“A lot of times we leave a meeting and go to like a Perkins or a Village Inn just to have fellowship and that got old after a while, so it’s like we need our own place.”

In January of 2020, Lawson had the idea to do just that, get space where others in recovery can hang out, relax, have fun, and not be surrounded by alcohol or drugs.

“We can come shoot pool, play darts, dance, have comedy, have talent contests, and anything you can think of that a real bar may have, we can do the same just minus the booze,” Lawson says.

Last year, Lawson and the Detox Sober Lounge began hosting pop-up events at other venues to gauge interest and raise awareness of the sober-living community.

Due to COVID, dreams of getting a permanent location slowed down until earlier this summer. Lawson tells 6 News their lease for a vacant space at 72nd and Blondo began on Sunday, August 1, but they’re still just getting started.

“The goal is to get to where we can just have the doors open, have mocktails, tacos, come in play some music on the jukebox, shoot some pool, play some darts, socialize, play some board games, whatever, just hang out like a real bar would be.”

They won’t be open full-time just yet but will begin to host their comedy, talent, and other pop-up events in their own space.

They currently need help raising funds for furniture inside the lounge as well as commercial kitchen equipment.

“My target market of course is for people in recovery but I’ve learned through the year and a half that we’ve been doing this, that people who aren’t in recovery enjoy this idea too, to be able to come and have a space safe where alcohol isn’t involved.”

Lawson says this idea is slowly turning into a reality and is a business that the Omaha community can definitely benefit from.

“It’s very important, we need something like this in our city, there’s a lot of drug addiction and alcoholism. I actually work in a treatment center so I see it first hand. We need a space like this to just call home and be safe,” Lawson says.

The Detox Sober Lounge will have a soft opening at their permanent location at 7215 Blondo Street on August 21st beginning at 5 p.m.

If you’d like to support the Detox Sober Lounge in their efforts to open full time, you can visit their GoFundMe page here.

Information about future events can be found on their Facebook page.

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