COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The first sober bar in downtown Columbus is closing after opening its doors seven months ago.
Owners of The Dry Mill said on Facebook a decline in sales the past few months lead to the decision to close. Columbus natives David Payne and Colin Thomas opened the bar on April 30 to provide a fun atmosphere without the pressure of alcohol.
“Our purpose was to help those who are sober or didn’t want to be around alcohol, and give them an environment where they felt safe,” the post said. “Meeting each of you and learning your stories is the reason we opened The Dry Mill. Continue to normalize sobriety and give a helping hand to those in need.”
The endeavor was inspired by their own sobriety, and wanted to come up with a way to give back to the community.
“We kicked around a couple of different ideas, and then David was doing some research, poking around, and he found where these were popping up all over the country,” Thomas told NBC4 in April.
Sober bars had been appearing in cities across the county, except Columbus.
“There’s this sober curious trend, which is starting to make sobriety look fun, and you should have fun in sobriety. I’ve had more fun sober than drunk,” said Daniel Henderson, founder of RecoverWisely, a non-profit that supports those in recovery.
The pair said they hope one day The Dry Mill can return and open its doors again.
“We will always be available to help others and encourage you to reach out to us,” Payne and Thomas said. “We thank you all again for your support.”