Umbrella Dry Bar Is More Than Zero-Proof Bevs—It Has Events!

Umbrella Dry Bar showers the local community with a slew of sober soirees.

There ain’t no party like a sober party, ’cause a sober party don’t stop! … Local zero-proof cocktail biz Umbrella Dry Bar doesn’t only boast delish nonalcoholic drinks, it touts a batch of events and activities showcasing just how fun sober socializing can be. 

The sip-sational enterprise began from a dream held by longtime Raleigh resident Meg Paradise of filling a gap in the market for the sober-curious. “I wanted to create a new option for people,” shares the founder. “Even though it’s specifically nonalcoholic, that’s not to say before or afterward you can’t have alcohol. There are some places that call themselves more of a sober bar, but I see it differently. I just call it a super-inclusive space.”

To expand that vision, Paradise leans into her local connections to host/co-host amazing events inviting people into a safe space where they can let loose—without the hangover (a win-win!). Umbrella has showered sober fun around Raleigh via its recurring appearances at Live After 5, plus its presence at an array of hip local happenings (think Raleigh Pride, FlowerFest, Brookside Bodega’s Summer Block Party, Ever After and Kidchella). And the zero-proof sippery has even begun to dip its toes into the world of private events by catering to baby showers, corporate events and more.

To boot, Umbrella’s permanent pop-up location at Norwood Gardens now hosts regular “weekend kickoff” parties, yoga classes, mocktail mixology/herbal medicine courses and Beyoncé/Barbie-themed dance parties. 

And the ’Gramworthy alcohol-free haven cares about more than just brand awareness. For Paradise, it’s all about amping up accessibility to a healthier lifestyle for the community craving a sober social hub just as much as she does. 

“I chose to create this because I want to be a customer,” elaborates Paradise. “I want it to exist, so I’m making it exist. It’s beautiful, it’s delicious and it’s good for your body—why wouldn’t you make that choice? Once people are in the space, we have a lot of repeats. I feel like there’s this collective consciousness that’s asking for it. We’re answering that call.”

As for the future forecast of Umbrella, the biz plans to debut a flagship location Downtown—and Paradise doesn’t plan to stop there. “I want to have places everywhere, all over America,” she explains.  “I don’t want to be just the nonalcoholic version of a liquor store—I want to be more of a resource, more curated, and provide very specific content and customer service.” Shakin’ it up, indeed!

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.