In Good Spirits Wants to Be at the Heart of Chicago's Sober Scene

Chicago's newest sober bar and bottle shop is the perfect place to try non-alcoholic beer, cider, and spirits.

Photo by Chris Bain
Photo by Chris Bain

In Good Spirits is the newest dry bar in Chicago's non-alcoholic and sober-curious scene, joining Bendición and Lez Get Together as another space to have a good time that is completely spirit free. With a clear vision and intentionality, owners, life partners, and native Chicagoans Adriana Gaspar and Hector Diaz want to transcend trends and become a mainstay for those who embrace the sober lifestyle, and to create a place to explore for those who are on a journey of mindful drinking. After a successful kickstarter campaign, their bar and bottle shop opened just a few weeks ago on Ashland in the city’s West Town neighborhood.

Photo by Chris Bain

The inspiration behind In Good Spirits has been simmering for nearly three years, steeped in a deeply personal connection. In 2020, Gaspar’s father succumbed to Covid. Sobriety had been an integral part of his life, and in the wake of his passing, Gaspar found solace in embracing the same path as a heartfelt tribute to his memory. Her lifestyle had already begun to influence Diaz, and after a kidney cancer diagnosis in 2022, he leaned more into mindful drinking. As he healed and the world opened up, Gaspar envisioned a space for people to connect and enjoy themselves without alcohol, and In Good Spirits was born.

“We were always passionate about cocktail culture and both worked in the spirit industry,” says Gaspar. “We still [wanted] to be able to do things we had before but in an alcohol free way that fit our new lifestyle.”

During their early days, In Good Spirits had a strong focus on events, collaborating with brands like Netflix, Footlocker, Soho House, and Google. The refreshing aspect of these collaborations was the absence of alcohol as the main draw, allowing the experience itself to be the focus. Collaborators welcomed the opportunity to curate events where people didn’t have to rely on alcohol to have a good time.

With their new brick and mortar location, In Good Spirits is seeing a transformative evolution of their brand. Shifting from being primarily event-focused to being more people-centric, they now have a physical space that fosters a sense of sober community—something that was dear to Gaspar’s father. They are open Wednesdays to Sundays and offer rotating cocktails on top of the already packaged goods. There’s indoor and outdoor seating, music blasting through the speakers, plus snacks available for purchase.

While events like cocktail classes and tastings are coming in the future, In Good Spirits' current focus centers around creating a space filled with intentionality, and they are taking everything one step at a time.

Photo by Chris Bain

“We waited a year to open the space,” says Diaz. “We’re very passionate, but we wanted to be rational. We wanted to see what the reception would be, and with every [day] we built more confidence and momentum. We want to continue to create experiences for people and drive awareness to the space.”

It's a place where people can hang out on a Saturday night with friends, celebrate birthdays, or just chill with an after-work drink. Chicago and community connection is woven through the minimal but eye popping space that was designed by Points of Sail and executed by Erica Gressman of Rainbolt Productions.

The bottle shop stocks over 35 different types of non-alcoholic beer, wine, and ciders. On opening night, they watched as people bought rounds for each other and started chats with strangers at the table next to them.

Gaspar spoke about the excitement she’s gotten from future patrons: “I manage a lot of our social and there is this person who is sober and celebrating their birthday. They’ve been messaging all week saying, 'We’re coming next week! There’s gonna be eight of us!' People are really excited about it and I think that’s awesome.”

It assured them this is something deeper than a trend or a New Year's cleanse. It resonates with a genuine lifestyle embraced by many, and Gaspar and Diaz want to position In Good Spirits at the heart of this movement.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Shelli Nicole is a Detroit-born culture writer, critic & editor based in Chicago. Her work has appeared in Bustle, Vogue, Architectural Digest, and many others. Follow her at @HiShelli.