Crafting a Sober Safe Haven: The Sans Bar Story with Chris Marshall


 A Sober Safe Haven: Chris Marshall, who once sought solace in the bottom of a bottle, has since discovered true safety and belonging within the sober community. His path from resisting treatment to embracing a life of sobriety led him first to a fulfilling career as a substance use counselor and now, the visionary behind Sans Bar, North America’s first all non-alcoholic bar.






Sober Safe Haven: Armed with nothing but $200 and a drive to create a welcoming space, Chris’s story is a testament to the potential that lies within transformation and community.












In a candid conversation with host Margy Schaller, Marshall opened up about his past fraught with alcoholism and how his quest for acceptance and connection led him down a dark path. He recounted pivotal moments at the tender age of 16 when his initiation into drinking offered him an illusion of belonging but eventually resulted in feelings of anxiety and isolation. His struggles continued into college, ultimately leading him to rehab at the age of 23. It was within the sober community that Marshall finally found the true sense of safety and connection he’d always longed for, a discovery that propelled him onto a path of healing and helping others. Marshall’s dedication to creating inclusive, alcohol-free spaces emerged from his own experiences and the acknowledgement of the widespread desire for genuine connection beyond alcohol. Sans Bar, which started with a mere $200 investment, became a beacon for not only those in recovery but also for the 75% of patrons who aren’t sober but appreciate the alcohol-free environment.










Sober Safe Haven: Marshall emphasized the importance of community, stating, ‘What you gain when you stop drinking, no matter how old or young you are, no matter how much you have or how much you don’t have, what you gain is you.’


With Sans Bar, he has created a venue where the atmosphere mimics that of a traditional bar, yet fosters deep, meaningful interactions without the veil of inebriation. Marshall’s story is not just one of personal triumph but also a larger narrative on the cultural shift towards embracing sober choices unapologetically.





 As the alcohol-free movement grows, with allies dubbed as ‘sober wingmen’ advocating alongside, the goal is to normalize non-alcoholic options and make social connections independent of what drink one holds in hand.





On this inspiring note, Chris Marshall’s journey and the success of Sans Bar send a powerful message: sober choices are not just accepted but celebrated, and a sense of belonging can indeed transcend the bottle.





Inspired by Chris Marshall’s transformative journey and the pioneering spirit of Sans Bar, Sober Life Rocks is driven to weave the same magic into the fabric of the business community. Understanding the profound impact of fostering environments where connections are not predicated on alcohol consumption, we are committed to championing this cause within industry events.










Sober Safe Haven: Sober Life Rocks has launched first in the dental community because dental professionals are known for their dedication to health and wellness.

 It is a powerful place to start this cultural shift towards more inclusive and sober-friendly event planning. Sober Life Rocks envisions dental conferences, seminars, and networking events where the bar cart is no longer the centerpiece but rather an optional backdrop to the meaningful exchanges taking place. By introducing alcohol-free options and creating spaces that encourage genuine interactions, we aim to normalize sobriety in professional settings, ensuring that everyone, regardless of their relationship with alcohol, feels welcomed and valued.





Our mission goes beyond just removing alcohol from the equation; it’s about redefining what it means to connect, network, and celebrate achievements within the dental community. We want to create events where the focus is on shared experiences, knowledge exchange, and fostering relationships that contribute to personal and professional growth. In doing so, Sober Life Rocks seeks to emulate the success of Sans Bar on a new stage, proving that the essence of belonging and community can indeed transcend the bottle, even within the specialized context of dentistry.










Sober Safe Haven: Check out our latest podcast episode with Chris Marshall – airing on 2/29/2024










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