Sans Bar


"Reasons to quit: The low is always lower than the high," sings Texas stoner royalty Willie Nelson. Alcoholics know that firsthand. Others, too, are discontent with paying for the lows via hangovers and liver problems. Enter Sans Bar, a sober establishment in Austin started by former substance abuse counselor Chris Marshall.

Sans Bar feels like a calm, diverse house party ("I started my three-month intensive fast on the solstice!" said one health-nut patron while I was there). Serving good nonalcoholic cocktails and using a "pay what you want" model, all it asks is that patrons not be under the influence while there (which, given the Alcoholics Anonymous logo in the window, shouldn't surprise gallivanters).

For Nelson, "The reasons to quit don't outnumber all the reasons" to drink. Others feel differently, so bless the market for providing alternatives for sober revelers—spaces deliberately crafted to eliminate temptation.