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Raising the Bar

Cambridge has just seen the launch of SoBar, a ‘sober social’ space

With evermore people cutting back on the booze - latest figures show 23 per cent of under-24s don’t drink any alcohol at all - Cambridge has just seen the launch of SoBar, a ‘sober social’ space.

Housed in The Grafton’s Sook, a retail unit which can be rented by the hour for pop-ups, the venture is the brainchild of Suzie Young and Lisa Pollitt, founders of wellbeing events brand WONDER. United by their shared desire to go out and have a great time without drinking, the single mums stage everything from party nights to festivals, all booze-free.

“We are all about choice, because we don’t know why there isn’t any out there at the moment,” explains Suzie.

Nojitos are on the SoBar menu (28833989)
Nojitos are on the SoBar menu (28833989)

“Not everyone drinks alcohol and some people are mindful drinkers, choosing when to drink or when to have a night off. Our vision is that, in the future, WONDER events and other alcohol-free nights will be as normal as the current alcohol fuelled nightlife.”

The SoBar menu is far from the “colas and cordials” norm. Thanks to the booming low or no-alcohol drink industry, innovative botanicals play a big part, with signature mocktails including the Nojito (made with Rumish) and the Villanelle (made with Nine Elms No.18), along with Belle & Co’s prosecco-like fizz and free-from beers, such as Freestar and Nirvana.

The next WONDER Festival takes place at Cambridge Museum of Technology on July 18, promising everything from yoga and sound-healing sessions to DJs, dancing, vegan Caribbean food and, of course, drinks from SoBar. SoBar will be popping up at Sook between now and then - check wonderfestival.co.uk for dates, times and tickets.

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