You can love the nightlife without liking alcohol or the drinking scene in Atlanta. And the teetotal crowd is entitled to go out and have a great time at metro gathering spots, just like their imbibing friends and family.
Well, not "just like," since these venues and activities are strictly alcohol-free. But just as good when you're seeking evening and even late night entertainment. So whether you're an established teetotaler, trying to quit or cut back, or merely the date or ally for someone who doesn't drink alcohol, you can still leave the house for an enthusiastic, even rowdy night or weekend out and about.
Here are eight hot spots in the Atlanta area for non-drinkers:
8 p.m.-10:45 p.m. Fridays, new dancer lesson 7:30-8 p.m.
$5 (lesson free)
Decatur Recreation Center
231 Sycamore St., Decatur.
High spirits without spirits is the theme with this friendly confab. In contra dance, parallel lines of dancers stand opposite their partners and a caller has them swinging up and down a line in no time. The music might be Celtic, Quebecois, Old Time, New England, Southern Appalachian, Jazz or Blues, each played by live bands. These folks welcome all and sundry; no need to bring a partner or even know how to dance. Also, it’s a good workout.
881 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta. 404-254-0408
1565 N Decatur Road NE, Atlanta. 404-377-4407
So cluckin' good, as the sign says, and open for late-night sober shenanigans with 24-hour service starting Friday at 7 a.m. and ending Sunday at 10 p.m. Sheer locavore quality and artistry goes into these sausage delights, served as part of breakfast all day, or in a bun with all the fixins, extra spicy or even veggie on request. There are two locations, one in Westside, the other in East Atlanta. The Westside version might be even better for the on-the-wagon crowd, with its vintage soda fountain. And if you're missing your daring party days, do something off the wall at Delia's: try The Cake Shake, handcrafted and involving a homemade cupcake tossed into the blender.
$10 hour/per person
333 Wood St., Atlanta. Text "hi" to 404-328-7070 to make arrangements; no phone calls
You can drink at Fam-Fam, but it's literally up to you since you rent a private room and bring your own beverages and food. This is so reassuring for anyone who thought they'd given up embarassment and rowdy fun when they stopped drinking alcohol. It's also a great excuse to plan a gathering of like-minded folks, since room reservations require six people minimum.
7:30 a.m.-10 p.m.
600 West Lanier Ave., Suite 103, Fayetteville. 770-461-5828
Here's a change of pace that won't break the bank. The final love song of Chik-fil-A founder Truett Cathy before his death, this alcohol-free eatery has a tropical vibe. It serves tasty foods like tropical nuggets (chicken, for sure) and crispy calamari, along with "you're in for a treat" beverages like frosted pineapple.
209 Edgewood Ave. SE. 404-522-3444
Part of Atlanta's burger renaissance and the post-2009 vitality at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market in downtown, the Sweet Auburn Grindhouse doesn't serve alcohol, so you won't even be tempted. They do, however, offer a great spot to share killer burgers, old-school behemoth onion rings and hand-spun milkshakes with your nearest and dearest or just someone you'd like to know better.
Starting at around $30 per adult
1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd. Stone Mountain. 800-401-2407
Whee! You can enjoy access to your favorite attractions at Stone Mountain after 4 p.m. (hello Geyser Towers!) until close. Afterwards, settle in to watch the Lasershow Spectacular in Mountainvision from the comfort and convenience of a terrace seat, with unlimited popcorn and a soft drink by your side.
2000 Moreland Ave. SE, Atlanta.
At a time when many Atlanta-area theaters are going to recliners and full-bars, the Starlight is a refreshing place to be happy but sober on a Friday or Saturday night. You can also head over there with a carful or a date on weeknights or Sunday if you're feeling extra sociable. It strictly prohibits alcohol, which takes all the pressure off you. The movies are first run, and the old school style means more affordable tickets, too. Nine bucks for adults entitles you to back-to-back shows on either of the screens.
8:30-10:30 p.m. Saturdays June 16-July 28
Red Top Mountain State Park
50 Lodge Road SE, Acworth. 770-975-0055
Drink in the mystic mountain air (and maybe sip a lemonade or hot chocolate) while taking in a movie. You bring lawn chairs and snacks (chocolate is good); stunning views of the mountain and nearby Lake Allatoona are provided. This is all part of Georgia State Parks' full slate of moonlight programs for all ages for 2018. Thanks, guys!