[Spotlight] Sobriety Party
In honor of National Recovery Month, Chemistry Nightclub will be opening its doors on a Monday night for its first-ever Sobriety Party. On Sept. 9 from 8 p.m. until 1 a.m., Chemistry will strip their shelves of alcohol and open to welcome those who are in recovery for a night of entertainment without serving alcohol.
There will be male and female Go-Go dancers as well as drag entertainment by Tia Chanella, Anjelica Dust, and Ivy Carter at 10 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. There is a $5 donation cover that will benefit Greensboro Recovery Runners, a group of about 10-15 active runners (with a Facebook group following of 150) who help each other stay clean by running together.
“I want to give back to people that get sober, but they don’t have the means to get back on their feet,” said Jake Markley the co-host and founder of Greensboro Recovery Runners. “The money will go toward giving them gas money to get to job interviews and things like that.”
“I think substance abuse is more so prevalent in the LGBTQ community, highlighting the trans community even more so just because of the line of work trans people tend to have to take,” said owner Drew Wofford, on why hosting the Sobriety Party at Chemistry is significant.
Wofford was open with his past drug use and said that Chemistry was a “drug den” when it first opened. “It is something I am not ashamed to talk about because I am proud of how much we have cleaned it up.”
This month, Wofford said he would be celebrating two years of sobriety from alcohol and drugs.
“I have been clean and sober for almost five years,” Markley said. “I was terrified of getting sober because I thought I wouldn’t have fun anymore, but I still have a ton of fun.”
Markley said the Sobriety Party would give people who don’t feel like they can come out on a weekend night and be around others drinking alcohol access to drag shows and entertainment.
“If anything, it will show people in recovery that you can still go to a nightclub, you can still go out and be social, and it will show others that there are quite a few of people out there in recovery,” Wofford said. “There are people here, talk to us if you feel like you have a problem using drugs, or feel like you are drinking too much. We have plenty of resources we can connect you with. You don’t have to be a recluse; you have options.”
The event is for those 18 years and up and will feature punch, sodas, energy drinks, sparkling juice, and bartenders coming up with “mocktails;” the price range for drinks is $3 to $5. Markley said there would not be any nonalcoholic beer for sale because “it looks and tastes like beer, so it might be a trigger for some people.”
“I don’t think drinks are a big part of the party anyway– just the atmosphere, space, and events are what bring people out,” Wofford said. “It is not like it is really costing me anything to open Monday, and I am not worried about making any money for this event.”
“I really haven’t heard of this happening anywhere,” Markley said. “It is really a bold move.”
Looking ahead, Wofford said he is open to hosting a sobriety night quarterly and that the next one could be on Dec. 30 as a “Sober New Year’s Eve Party.”
“If one person comes through here that is an accomplishment, and even if it is just us, it is still an accomplishment,” Markley said.
Intoxicated patrons will be denied entry. For more information, check Chemistry’s Facebook page.