Robin Lefever’s Interview with Clare Kennedy, founder of Kennedy St & Co
For many of us in recovery, the idea of going out to a bar is a terrifying prospect. Will I be laughed at for ordering an orange juice? Will the shelves stacked with spirit bottles be too tempting to resist?
But Brighton based entrepreneur Clare Kennedy has found a solution in Kennedy St, a meeting point where the message of recovery can be shared over a non-alcoholic drink, as Robin Lefever found out when he visited.
Edited by Laura Cox
ROBIN: Thank you so much for the invitation to your meeting at Kennedy St & Co CiC
Clare. Can you please tell me a bit about how you got it going and what the evenings are like?
CLARE: At Kennedy St we aim to address a variety of needs, whilst also contributing to positively de-stigmatising recovery & impacting our social culture blueprint. We will offer community, healthy lifestyle information, a safe space to be yourself, involvement, retraining, employment, and self-employment opportunities, showing that recovery and wellbeing are fun, real and attainable. After all, not drinking and using doesn’t stop us living, loving and thriving).
We currently have no funding, bid writing is not my area of expertise, but people achieving their very best, is. So we run our drybar party nights 4 times a year and are so very blessed at the moment to have [Brighton restaurant] Skyfall as our sponsors. They allow us to run our drybar party nights without charging us a rental, but of course, there are still costs we have to cover, so we are currently looking for sponsors or partners to work with so we can grow our community ideas. Of which we have many.
The idea of dry bars began in the United States where there is a long tradition of sobriety clubhouses and hangouts, often associated with 12-step programs. People gather to share soft drinks, food, play games and enjoy each other’s company. Dry bars have popped up all over the States, such as The Other Side in Illinois, The Counterfeit Bar in Arizona and The Shine in LA and New York which regularly sells out on alcohol-free events involving live music, meditation and film. Read the rest of this entry »