Imbibing establishments solely dedicated to the consumption of liquor-free spirits have been popping up all over town for quite some time now—but none have yet been fully able to embrace the character of the sorts of watering holes that, at one point in time, defined the essence of the city: dive bars.
That might soon change with the arrival of Hekate, a new "sober bar" at 167 Avenue B between 10th and 11th Streets in the East Village.
Marketed as a “bar for sober people,” Hekate is the brainchild of one Abby Ehmann, who also owns “traditional” bar Lucky right across the street.
"The motivation to open a sober bar came out of owning a traditional one," Ehmann explained in an official statement. "Lucky was 100% on brand, a 'dive bar for grown-ups.' The concept behind Hekate is the same as Lucky's—fun events, interesting people, great music, comfortable ambiance—but booze-less. A place anyone could enjoy."
The sense of community that Hekate is looking to create isn't the venue's only specialty, though. New Yorkers who stop by will get to order from a list of "elixirs," which, according to an official press release, are "carefully curated experimental beverages geared toward health benefits [like] energy [and] serenity, more or less the price of a smoothie."
Examples include the AF Pina Colada, made with Ritual's spiced rum, pineapple juice and coconut milk, and the aptly named The Healer, prepared with Apothekary's Blue Me Away, lemonade, seltzer and lavender simple syrup. Non-alcoholic beers, champagnes and a variety of liquor-free spirits round out the menu.
Hekate is currently in soft opening mode—a time during which Ehmann is open to suggestions and tips, hoping to morph her new establishment into the sort of destination that locals are actually craving. If you stop by before the grand opening in September, you might apparently even get an elixir named after you!