Meet the Co-Owner of Denver’s First (And Only) Sober Bar

Meet Christy Wynne, co-owner of Awake, Denver’s first sober bar!

Christy Wynne of Awake Denver shares why so many are interested in Dry January this year, why free-spirit drinks cost what they do, and how to enter mindfully into sobriety in 2022.

Awake – Denver’s First Sober Bar

Christy Wynne and her husband Billy opened Awake in Jefferson Park to provide a comfortable place for people to socialize and connect without the pressure to indulge in high-ABV social lubricants. Part coffee shop, part nonalcoholic “liquor” store, and part watering hole, Awake is all about normalizing, embracing, and elevating the sober lifestyle. While the bar component didn’t open until May 2021, the coffee and bottle shops have been providing zero-proof libations since last November. We caught up with Christy to talk business, nonalcoholic drinks, sticker shock, and all things Dry January.

Why do you think so many people are interested in Dry January this year?

I think it’s been building momentum for several years. People naturally want to do these kinds of things at the beginning of the year. That’s what we do, but I also think there’s a shift where people are realizing the ramifications of alcohol—the anxiety and depression. There’s a movement toward being more mindful. Also, it’s probably more culturally acceptable to do something like a Dry January now. They can take a break, not necessarily say ‘I have a problem’. If it’s a popular thing to do, it offers people a safe space to do it.

What are you doing at Awake for the month?

We’re running a kind of challenge group for people who want to sign up. We’ll meet once a week in person, serve a drink of the week, and go through the Alcohol Experiment by local author Annie Grace. It’s for anyone who wants to take a break and learn the science behind alcohol. We’ll also have specials throughout the month in our bottle shop, and we’re having a New Year’s Eve party. That should be really fun to take us into Dry January.

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