In Good Spirits is creating social spaces for the sober-curious

Chicago’s In Good Spirits is creating a social space for the sober-curious | Soho House

Adriana Gaspar and Héctor Díaz are removing the stigma of sobriety by creating social clubs where guests can enjoy non-alcoholic experiences 

Wednesday 16 November 2022  By Felton Edward Kizer

‘We should all be curious,’ say Adriana Gaspar and Héctor Díaz, the duo behind Chicago’s new sober-curious social club, In Good Spirits. While social clubs are well rooted in American culture, the camaraderie they encourage is often fueled by alcohol. When I think of social clubs, I think of the connections and shared passions that came from extracurricular activities in high school. And for that I’ve always loved them – that is until I stopped drinking. 

October 2022 marked my first one-year booze-free anniversary. I struggle to ‘celebrate’ because I haven’t yet found the excitement I once had about going out. While I do not consider myself sober, I like the ring of ‘sober-curious’. It’s an alternative to going out and knowing everyone around you is attempting to break down their social constraints through drinking, hoping to get lost in a feeling of mutual indulgence. With In Good Spirits, Gaspar and Díaz are looking to change that culture. They’re creating spaces where people can feel comfortable regardless of their intake, without the social pressure and disconnect when everyone around them is in a different state of mind.

Keen to hear more about their venture, we sat down with the two cofounders to explore their intentions behind the sober-curious social club.

Chicago’s In Good Spirits is creating a social space for the sober-curious | Soho House
Chicago’s In Good Spirits is creating a social space for the sober-curious | Soho House

How do you describe the term ‘sober-curious’ and your relationship with alcohol?

Héctor Díaz: ‘Sober-curious to us means drinking alcohol in a more mindful and intentional way – consciously choosing whether you want to drink or not.’

Adriana Gaspar: ‘I chose to be completely alcohol-free, and this month marks two years of not drinking for me. However, Héctor is what you would call sober-curious.’

What do you want people to know about you or In Good Spirits?

HD: ‘In Good Spirits was born out of meaningful experiences in both my life and Adriana’s, so we approach every event and interaction with [a] genuine passion for what we’re doing. We also want folks to know that we’re not here to condemn alcohol in any way, we’re here to create a community and space for both sober and sober-curious individuals. If you ever feel like taking a break, or want to go out, but are feeling out of place without a drink in your hand, we got you.’

For those new to or curious about the sober-conscious world, what brands are doing it right?

AG: ‘Töst, a sparkling non-alcoholic beverage, has been an absolute hit with everyone every time we serve it at our events. I love what Chicago’s very own Visitor non-alcoholic beer is doing. They’re popping up and activating everywhere in the city – it’s always a joy to see a non-alcoholic option on the menu.’

How would you describe In Good Spirits? Is it a social club, events company, or consulting firm? Or a little bit of everything? 

HD: ‘In Good Spirits is currently a social club creating space for sober and sober-curious individuals to come together for a range of community-centered non-alcoholic experiences. However, we have not-so-distant plans of expanding into a non-alcoholic goods retailer and destination in the community.’

Chicago’s In Good Spirits is creating a social space for the sober-curious | Soho House

Has this lifestyle changed your relationship with the nightlife industry?

AG: ' I don't go out every weekend; however, when I do, the music and the vibes have become that much more important. I can have fun as long as I can dance and other people around me are dancing, too. I love that non-alcoholic options are popping up everywhere, and when there aren't any, I typically get club soda free of charge from kind bartenders.'

What does a standard In Good Spirits event look like?

AG: 'While we have a few different formats for our activations, the common thread across them all is the opportunity to try a variety of non-alcoholic beverages, learn more about the range of product options in the space, and contemplate the hold that alcohol has on us as a society. I would say our gatherings are less about networking and more casual, fun gatherings for people who are curious to try new things. We should all be curious.'

How would you describe your approach to curating the ultimate non-alcoholic menu?

HD: 'Curating the beverage menu at all of our events is always fun. We're constantly experiencing new brands in the non-alcoholic space and listening to guests' feedback. When putting together a menu, we always strive to provide a wide range of options, whether it's a tasty sparkling drink, a robust Mediterranean apertif, or an agave-based non-alcoholic cocktail that'll taste like something you've never experienced before.'

Are you looking forward to anything next year?

HD: 'We officially launched In Good Spirits a few months ago, and the year flew by. We're thrilled to host and curate more events next year. It's been amazing to grow the community and meet new people along the journey. Hosting events in other cities has also been a goal for us. We're excited to share more content as well via social / digital about In Good Spirits and the space in 2023.'

To book a spot at the In Good Spirits event at Soho House Chicago on Wednesday November 16th, click here 

Chicago’s In Good Spirits is creating a social space for the sober-curious | Soho House
Chicago’s In Good Spirits is creating a social space for the sober-curious | Soho House