A downtown Grande Prairie bar is removing alcohol one night a month, giving those who don’t imbibe a space to enjoy a tasty drink in a pleasant atmosphere.
Zero-proof nights have been going on at 92 Beverage Co. for the last three months and show no signs of stopping, said owner and operator Jessica Schoepp.
“We’re just seeing a growing movement of people not wanting to drink alcohol, but still are experience seekers; they want to go out, they want to have an adult space, they want to experience a different mood, environment, or vibe.”
Zero-proof nights have given many who can’t drink alcohol a safe space to go and enjoy an adult atmosphere.
Schoepp explained there are many reasons why someone may not be able to consume alcohol, whether it be health or recovering from addictions.
She said zero-proof nights are having a positive response from the community and from members who thought they may never be able to go to a place with a bar atmosphere ever again.
“We never ask somebody why they’re not drinking, it doesn’t matter to us, but we come with an open ear to learn how our space can be accommodating,” said Schoepp.
That mindset of accommodation for the community is spread throughout 92 Beverage Co., with braille on menus and low seating tables for those with accessibility issues. Currently, they’re working on menus that read aloud, all while utilizing the city’s barrier-free grants.
She said the grants have encouraged the bar to find improvements to accessibility in their lounge, as the city will walk businesses through to illustrate the accommodations that can be made.
“We try really hard to make our space welcome.”
“People just want to have a good drink, and good drinks don’t always have to have alcohol in them,” said Schoepp.
“We try to make it so that they’re (customers) getting a mix of something that no one else has, something we’ve created ourselves to something that is similar to a classic cocktail or drinks that we have on the menu that we’ve created, but a non-alcoholic version.”
Although no alcohol is served at zero-proof nights, it is only open to those 18 and older.
“Everyone deserves to have a great experience regardless of their drinking choice.”
According to StatsCanada in 2021, the amount of Canadians engaging in heavy drinking is at its lowest since 2015.
By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Jul 20, 2023