FISHERS — If you drive to the Nickel Plate District, you’ll see a new spot that’s buzzing with sobriety.
The founders of Memento Zero Proof Lounge, Max Gavin and Shwa Hall, aren’t Debbie Downers. In fact, they’re expanding the party to include others.
“We’re really excited to try and pioneer this movement,” Gavin said.
Memento is Indiana’s first sober bar, and it’s not just for people fighting addictions.
“Being sober, this is something that I’ve been craving for a long time. It’s a space that I can come and hang out late at night and still be with my friends,” Gavin said.
This versatile space, located at 8701 E 116th St, holds extra meaning to Gavin. He’s three years sober now after losing family to alcohol use disorder.
“Not only the sober community could use it, but there’s a lot of religious groups and people who are pregnant. There are all kinds of people who could use a space like this,” he said.
Mixed drinks at the bar use zero-proof alcohol brands. It’s mixology made healthy.
“We’ve actually had a lot of people reach out to us and either tell us that we’re the reason they’ve gone sober, or they share their story and tell us how they think this will help them with their sobriety,” Gavin said.
ABC News confirms doctors are seeing an increase in the amount of liver transplants due to excessive drinking, an unintended consequence of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Hall says their mission changed over years of planning.
“It kind of started as a place for people who are between 18 to 20-years-old because they’re too old for kids’ spaces but too young for the bar,” Hall said.
Now, near opening it’s a multifaceted space.
“It’s been more work than you could imagine. A lot of sleepless nights,” Hall said.
Hall says Memento provides alcohol free cocktails, beers and wines. They also offer craft coffee, lattes, cold brew and have some food options, such as paninis.
Both owners and friends grew up in Fishers. Now they’re providing nightlife to the sober community.
“We’ve seen a crazy response. Crazier than I ever think we could’ve anticipated, which is good,” Hall said.
It’s also bringing a booming new industry to the city of Fishers.
“Hopefully by us coming here it’ll inspire some local businesses to try and start up. We can kind of get that movement going a little bit again,” Gavin said.
Memento Zero Proof started hosting pop-up events last year, but their location in Fishers officially opens on Oct. 28.
They’ll also have a booth at "Boo-Bash” where they’ll hand out fliers to let people know they can walk down the road to their new business.
We all know addiction is a disease and treatment is available.
According to Next Level Recovery Indiana, 4.2 million people who felt they needed treatment did not seek it because they feared negative attitudes from their community.
For more information, call the national helpline for substance abuse and mental health administration at 1-800-662-4357. There are services in English and Spanish.
For more information on Memento Zero Proof Lounge, click here.