Weight jokes have become common practice in the COVID-19 age as people poke fun at themselves for gaining “quarantine weight.” Without the liberty of being able to go out like before, some people have taken the opportunity to indulge like never before.
Others, however, have taken this time to look inwards and improve themselves.
“No more passing out on the floor, getting dizzy, or anything like that. I love being able to drink a non-alcoholic beer and drive to the grocery store later that night,” said Kyle Prindiville.
Prindiville and his wife, both of whom live in Denver, decided to challenge themselves to stop drinking alcohol around the time the pandemic began.
It was supposed to last only a month, but that month turned into two, and then six, and now 14. In November, Prindiville decided to take the commitment to a new level and apply for a job as a bartender at a local bar, Awake, that does not serve alcohol.
“As a first-time concept, I think there’s a little bit of excitement and people want to check it out and maybe try it,” he said.
Similar bars have been popping up around the country over the course of the last few years, but never as many since the pandemic began. Currently, there are alcohol-less bars in several cities, including Denver, Austin, Portland, Kansas City, Brooklyn, St. Louis, and Los Angeles.
“We wanted to normalize it. We believe the rising tide will lift all the boats,” said Billy Wynne, who opened Awake with his wife, Christy.
“It really doesn’t get old when we get these continual emails and just people reaching out saying we’ve been waiting for this and 'thank you for doing this,'” she said.
Last year, the International Wine and Spirits Record reported alcohol consumption in 10 key markets, including the U.S., fell 5 percent and the number of people drinking low or non-alcoholic drinks grew up to three times faster than those who drink alcoholic drinks.