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Kelowna's first non-alcoholic bar now open

Always sober.

Long-time sober.

Dedicated sober.

Newly sober.

Weekday sober.

Somewhat sober.

Sober curious.

Or not sober at all, but want to drop by a cool, new bar in downtown Kelowna.

All are welcome at SoBar -- Kelowna's first and only non-alcoholic bar at 525 Bernard Ave.

</who>From left, server Shara Glenn and Somm Zero co-founders Bobby Faurot, without his moustache, John Glenn and Alex Viol.

"We've asked ourselves that question: Who is our target market?" said SoBar co-founder Alex Viol.

"And the answer is our customer base is so varied. We're a completely inclusive social space for people that want to have conversations, listen to an eclectic playlist and enjoy quality and premium dealcoholized and non-alcoholic wines, beers and cocktails."

SoBar (a mash up of sober and bar) first opened last week.

</who>SoBar is the nightime incarnation of Just Peachy Smoothie Bar at 525 Bernard Ave.

"The response has been amazing," said Viol.

"We're only 30 seats and a lot of the time we were full."

Viol expects the same this week as SoBar is open Wednesday through Sunday, 5 to 10 pm.

The bar is a collaboration between Viol and his Somm Zero co-founders John Glenn and Bobby Faurot and Hannah Spinelli of Just Peachy Smoothie Bar.

</who>Bobby Faurot, with his moustache, serves up some non-alcoholic cocktails.

Viol is a sommelier who has worked at O'Rourke Peak Cellars in Lake Country and Mission Hill Winery in West Kelowna.

He co-founded Somm Zero to have a zero-proof concept bar, a non-alcoholic e-store at www.sommzero.com and throw no-alcohol parties and events.

Viol classifies himself as 'weekday sober' because he doesn't drink alcohol during the week for a healthier lifestyle and because he has business to get done.

</who>Kaylah from SIMPS, SoBar's cocktail collaborator.

Back to SoBar's location -- it is the nighttime incarnation of the aforementioned Just Peachy, which operates during the day as a smoothie bar.

"Hannah has a beautiful space, so it only takes one-hour for us to transform the place into a fun, contemporary, relaxed bar," explained Viol.

"We switch over to bar lighting and bring in some high-top tables and more furniture so people can gather at high-tops, lounge seating and booths."

Viol describes the vibe as stylish and loungey with eclectic (not techno) music playing loud enough to create atmosphere but not too loud that you can't converse with your group and the server.

</who>SoBar's drinks are reasonably priced.

The prices of dealcoholized wines and beers and non-alcoholic cocktails at SoBar are about the same or a little less than you'll find at regular bars.

"We represent the best quality and only use premium products," stressed Voil.

"But, because these products are made in small volumes and go through expensive processes, the prices are about the same or more than actual alcohol."

</who>So far, none of the dealcoholized wines are from the Okanagan, but France, Spain, Germany, Chile and California.

For example, you can order a glass of Oddbird Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine from France for $10, a Sin Zero glass of Rose from Chile for $7.50, a glass of Leitz Riesling from Germany for $6.50 and a glass of Luminara Red from California for $10.50.

You can drink a Pilsner from Fernie Brewing Co. for $6, a Corona Sun Brew from Mexico for $5 or a Guinness from Ireland for $8.

For cocktails, there is a 'No' Groni for $12, a Coconut Margarita for $10.50 and a Sugar & Spice rum-inspired drink for $10.

Kelowna-based Simps created SoBar's cocktail program.

The only food SoBar serves is charcuterie and boxed chocolates and macarons.

Besides being perfect for those who want to eliminate or reduce alcohol intake, SoBar's drinks tend to have half the calories of alcoholic beverages.

"SoBar is for people who want to have a good time, improve their physical and mental wellbeing and live a healthy lifestyle," said Voil.

"I think Kelowna is the ideal place for SoBar because it's wine country, people here love wine and beer and cocktails."

Ironically, there are no dealcoholized Okanagan wines on the SoBar menu.

Hardly any are made in the Okanagan, so SoBar has zeroed in on (pun intentional) on quality dealcoholized wines from France, Germany, Spain, California and Chile.



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