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First ever alcohol-free bar set to open in Chicago

The Other Side, a new bar in a Chicago suburb, is set to open April 27.  While it may look like any other typical bar, it has one major distinction – none of the drinks served will contain any alcohol.

The Other Side will be the first sober bar to open its doors in the Midwest, Counsel and Heal reported.  A group of friends came up with the idea for the bar after they had come together for the funeral of a mutual friend who had died of heroin addiction.  The friends, many of whom have also struggled with addiction themselves, collectively know at least 100 people who have died from substance overdoses within the past few years.

The group – now members of The Other Side’s board of directors – said they found it difficult to have sober fun in the suburbs that doesn’t involve going to movie theaters or bowling alleys.

"We're still young, and we want to hang out," 22-year-old Chris Reed, president of the non-profit group, the New Directions Addiction Recovery Center, told the Arlington Heights Daily Herald. "You can't hang out with 40 people at your house."

The Other Side will have the same amenities that most bars have – such as pool tables, TVs and sometimes live music.  The bar is a not-for-profit enterprise, and all its proceeds will go toward funding for drug education and rehabilitation treatments.

Click for more from Counsel and Heal.