The concept for a sober bar really didn’t come from one particular event or idea. It was something that just came out of extra space we had in our warehouse, that our construction company had and didn’t use at the time. The extra space started evolving into a place where we could hang out and enjoy everyone’s company at once. It’s pretty hard to just have 50 friends over to someone’s house randomly so our space was very accommodating. Since we were sober and have a great number of friends who are all sober, it just became the place where you could come hang out and have a good time.
We really got started after our now president of the board, Chris Reed, came back from a vacation where he visited a group, that started an organization where they rent out space and throw what is basically a sober rave. He came back with the idea that maybe we could accomplish the same thing at our place only have it in a centralized location. So once a month we began to have these outrageous sober parties with Djs, entertainers, etc. Anywhere between 100-300 people would show up to have a good time. We would charge an entry fee and all the money would go back into the place buying different lighting, and other sources of entertainment such pool tables, dart boards as well as installing a full stage and sound system.
From there our friend suggested we take over the non-profit status that he had set up but kind of fell under, called New Directions Addiction Recovery Services. We discussed changing the name but thought we may be able to accomplish more if we kept the title New Directions Addiction Recovery Services.
We know of many services which are needed in our area to aid in the addiction problem, since its one of the biggest economy cuts lately, but consequently one of the most needed. It seems everyone knows someone these days who has passed away due to an addiction problem. We hope to offer many services in the future to better our community, help addicts find their way to stable recovery and also prevent others from becoming addicts themselves. Using our experience, the professional community at hand and countless others we believe that if we can greatly impact the lives of many.
The Other Side re-opened in April of 2013 and is in full swing hosting events a few times a month. We were joined by Wake The Nation, an advocacy group that speaks about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse in schools and offers training on overdoses and how to save lives. We are also in the process of starting an outpatient drug and alcohol facility which will focus on drug and alcohol issues with the youth.
You can do anything to make a difference if you put in the action. We are just blessed people who have a new chance to live thanks to our sobriety. We want to give back and see how far this can go, and how many people we can help. Our sober bar has got national attention, and us hopeless addicts have found peace and a new life, and that means anything’s possible.
If you wish to donate or send a letter please do:
New Directions Addiction Recovery Services
93 Berkshire Unit G
Crystal Lake, Illinois, 60014
Steve Staley, The Other Side