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A new movement has arrived in Colorado – sober bars – and the first, Awake, paves the way for sober socializing. Billy and Christy Wynne, newbies to the food and beverage industry, are opening Awake, a bar and restaurant in Jefferson Park, which they hope will provide an environment for guests to make real and down-to-earth connections.
With their own sobriety, the Wynnes say they can feel a change in the way they think and their bodies. Christy states that drinking can have catastrophic effects on a woman’s body, including an increased risk of breast cancer, irregular hormones, and liver disease, and she adds that the health effects of drinking are just the beginning of how alcohol makes life can negatively affect a person. As parents, partners, and friends, the Wynnes say they have seen a significant difference and improvement in their lives since they stopped drinking. “Instead of giving up, I gave myself an enormous gift to be present in my life,” recalls Billy.
After a trip to France, the Wynnes took inspiration from the normalized sobriety scene of readily available non-alcoholic beers in supermarkets and bars. When they saw Heineken Zero sell out quickly and a handful of alcohol-free bars opening across the country, the couple saw the potential of alcohol-free offerings and environments here. They quickly decided to be part of the movement to change the social pressures of socializing under the influence.
Alcohol-free cocktails at Awake.
Courtesy of Awake
In November 2020, they opened Awake as a non-alcoholic bottle shop and coffee bar with a plan to add bar and grocery menus for in-house customers once the COVID-based restrictions were eased. The bottle shop has the largest selection of soft drinks under one roof in the country. The Wynnes personally selected and tried each offering to ensure they were selling the best non-alcoholic products to their customers.
In addition to the bottle shop, Awakes Kaffeebar sells products from three local partners: Queen City Collective Coffee, Aspen Baking and Mame’s Burritos. Customers of this lively daily grocery program are driven by their favorite varietal brews, freshly baked goodies, and hearty organic burritos.
The continued presence of COVID-19 has turned the opening plans for Awake’s sober bar on its head, but the Wynnes have adjusted and officially open on Saturday, May 8th. As a restaurant and bar, Awake offers a simple night bar and snack menu. This includes olives and nuts, sausage boards and vegetable platters. At the top of the menu is a homemade grilled cheese sandwich. You can choose the bread, cheese, and toppings to create a sandwich that will satisfy your own taste.
Most important, however, is the extensive, well-planned list of non-alcoholic beverages with zero-strength products like Gieson Sauvignon Blanc imported from New Zealand and locally sourced Gruvi Stout, as well as cocktails made with state-of-the-art, non-juicy spirits and homemade mixers.
Awake serves coffee in the morning.
Courtesy of Awake
Awake has been offering its terrace to guests of the coffee bar since it opened and will start sitting inside on April 26th. With summer approaching and vaccination rates soaring, the Wynnes are hoping for an active and exciting summer. They plan live music, non-alcoholic beer and wine tastings, and education about sobriety. Part of their message, says Christy, who is also a medical assistant and sobriety trainer, is, “There is no safe amount of alcohol to consume. This is not a trend that is going away; That’s just the beginning.”
As the only sober bar in Colorado, Awake is a destination. During the day it is a communal space to work and enjoy the terrace, while at night it is a safe place to be present and attentive with friends, family and new acquaintances. The Wynnes want their bar to redefine the way we interact with one another, highlight a way of thinking about living in the present and create authentic relationships. Whether for a date, a girls’ night out, or a night off drinking, Awake gives customers the opportunity to fully present themselves, an experience unheard of in American bar culture.
Awake is located at 2240 Clay Street. The coffee bar is open daily from 6:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The bar and restaurant are open on Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from May 8th You can also pick up items online from the Awake bottle shop and buy delivery. Call 720-379-7665 or visit the Awake website for details and orders.
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