Dry spirits: Alcohol-free cocktail bar opens in Greenpoint

Sober space: Getaway bar, which opened in Greenpoint on April 9, serving craft cocktails with no booze.

Three sober people walk out of a bar.

It’s no joke: a new booze-free bar is serving fanciful craft cocktails from its swanky Greenpoint locale, intoxicating patrons with their sight, smell, and flavor — but not with alcohol. Getaway, which opened on April 9, would be indistinguishable from a classic Brooklyn speakeasy if not for the stone-cold sobriety of the bar’s clientele, according to its co-founder.

“It was meant to feel like a craft cocktail bar,” said Sam Thonis, who also lives in Greenpoint. “It’s a very social space, with music and delicious drinks.”

Getaway’s growing menu currently features nine non-alcoholic cocktails, 11 soda options, coffee, tea, and three house-made shrubs, made from vinegar, fruit syrups, and club soda.

Thonis, who favors the Paper Train mocktail — made from a delicate mix of lemon juice, tobacco syrup, vanilla, and San Pellegrino — said that the bar’s mixed drinks are definitely the crowd favorite.

“The price point on the mixed drinks is higher, sometimes significantly, but for whatever reasons people gravitate toward the mixed drinks. Some people want to sample the whole menu, so they’ll get a few,” he said.

Those ordering from Getaway’s menu of zero proof beverages include staunch non-drinkers, alongside curious barflies giving their livers a night to relax, said Thonis.

“I think it’s really both,” he said. “A lot of people come because it’s new and interesting, but on the other hand, a lot of people have told us that they’re sober, and they’ve been looking for a place like this.”

Thonis opened the bar, with his co-founder Regina Dellea, after watching his brother quit drinking, and then struggle to find a place to socialize in a city where even the axe-throwing ranges serve booze.

A very dry martini: A bartender at Getaway shakes a non-alcoholic cocktail.
Photo by Julianne McShane

“My brother got sober, or started to get sober, three years ago,” said Thonis. “He and I were talking about how there’s nowhere we can go that’s not centered around alcohol. So, I think we’re really filling a void in that area.”

The two founders consider themselves at the forefront of new trend toward nonalcoholic nightlife. In addition to Canticles Sober Lounge, run by a Bedford-Stuyvesant church, hip new hooch-nixing spots are sprouting up throughout the City. The founder of Listen Bar, a monthly pop-up that serves a complicated menu of soft cocktails, says that more and more people are foregoing alcohol and discovering they can have fun without it.

“We’re giving people a new face for what it looks like to go out without drinking,” said Lorelei Bandrovschi. “We’re just this idea, but it’s rapidly growing around the world.”

Listen, which is currently crowdsourcing funds in hopes of opening a permanent spot in Williamsburg, aims to provide the excitement of a night on the town without the next-day hangover.

“We have a very groovy mood, with dim lighting and fun music,” said Bandrovschi. “The vibe is really kind of fun.”

Similarly, Thonis said that Getaway’s traditional tavern trappings make it reassuringly familiar to those seeking refuge from the tipsy lifestyle, whether for the night or for their entire lives.

“We’re just a bar, and people have responded really well,” he said.

Getaway [156 Green St. between Franklin Street and Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, (929) 337–6025, www.getaway.bar]. Open Tue–Sun; 5 p.m.–midnight.

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.
Spice of life: The serves a Ginger Spice cocktail, made with spicy ginger, cucumber, grapefruit juice, extra bitter tonic, club soda, and blackberries.
Photo by Julianne McShane

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