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Food & Drink

A new booze-free bottle shop slakes city’s thirst for mocktails

A person is behind a bar with various cocktail glasses and nonalcoholic spirits, preparing a drink with a shaker.
Los Angeles' the New Bar brings its selection of nonalcoholic spirits to San Francisco this March. | Source: Courtesy the New Bar

Dry January may have come and gone, but San Francisco is still embracing that sober-curious lifestyle, with nonalcoholic beverage options seamlessly blending in with their spiked siblings on bar menus and spots like Ocean Beach Cafe and bottle shop Boisson

Soon joining the mix of local mocktail options is the New Bar, a buzzy nonalcoholic bottle shop brand from Los Angeles, that will make its San Francisco debut on Cow Hollow’s Union Street by the end of March. 

The New Bar’s new location—taking over the storefront once occupied by popular plant shop the Sill—is the latest outgrowth of the online “alcohol-free discovery platform.” New Bar CEO and founder Brianda Gonazalez launched the brand in LA’s health-conscious Venice neighborhood in 2022 as interest in alternatives to alcohol surged. She has since moved swiftly to open shops in NA-friendly locales like West Hollywood, and now San Francisco, to meet continued demand.

Two people are holding drinks with an ice bucket full of canned beverages on a table, along with small flowers.
Los Angeles bottle shop brand the New Bar offers an array of nonalcoholic beverages. | Source: Courtesy the New Bar

“We've seen over time that a large set of our customers actually are shopping from San Francisco, so from just an internal data perspective, it made a lot of sense,” said Gonzalez of expanding to the Bay Area. Plus, she just loves the vibes in Cow Hollow. “It’s very much a neighborhood I liked to hang out in,” she said. “It’s fun to build where you like to be.”

During the pandemic, Gonzalez's father began suffering from a severe autoimmune disease, and the diagnosis forced Gonzalez—who grew up working alongside her bartender dad in Catalina Island’s restaurants—to reconsider the role alcohol played at her Mexican American family’s gatherings, her years in food service and her drinking habits. 

“The experience really just made me be more thoughtful about where alcohol showed up in my life,” Gonzalez said. “I'm now thinking about, ‘Does it make sense to have alcohol at a gathering?’”

A smiling woman in a green blouse sits near a white ladder, with a fridge of cold drinks behind her.
The New Bar founder and CEO Brianda Gonzalez poses on a staircase in her first nonalcoholic bottle shop in Los Angeles' Venice neighborhood. | Source: Courtesy the New Bar

Her obsession with trying to find healthier alternatives for her father eventually led Gonzalez to open a bottle shop with more thoughtfully selected brands and an educational component. Although she had spent many of her formative years working in bars and restaurants, she still felt lost in the new world of booze-free beverages. 

“Every single week, it feels like a new product enters the market, but I also found it quite challenging as a consumer to navigate,” Gonzalez said.

At the New Bar, Gonzalez will offer daily in-store tastings, a highly curated selection of 40 to 50 nonalcoholic labels at any given time, and a staff well-versed in everything from Spiritless Old Fashions to alcohol-free Noughty wines. 

A person in a white T-shirt with the word "THE NEW BAR" holds a bottled drink with text "HONEY NEGRONI" on a red sofa.
The New Bar offers nonalcoholic alternatives to beloved cocktails like negronis. | Source: Courtesy the New Bar

Local cocktail and spirits writer Camper English, who’s written extensively about mocktails, believes the New Bar is a natural fit for the neighborhood,

“I think it’s very smart for this location choice, for this nonalcoholic bottleshop to be over on Union Street,” English said. “To put a huge stereotype on it, it’s a healthy lifestyle neighborhood … like yoga pants are pants.”

As for Gonzalez, she hopes that the New Bar not only offers locals healthier options for happy hour but also keeps the spirit of new year sobriety alive well into March for the store’s grand opening.

“While Dry January is such an amazing moment … what I really think is the future for the category and for consumers is more about just reshaping our relationship with alcohol,” Gonzalez said. “I really hope that people leave the store feeling excited and empowered to do things a little bit differently.”  

The New Bar

📍2181A Union St., Cow Hollow 
🗓 Opening Date: End of March 

Christina Campodonico can be reached at