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Bar Owners Feel Effects of Dry January

Specialty Food Association

Yahaira Gil Mestro, owner of New York City craft beer bar BierWax feels conflicted about Dry January where participants practice a month of sobriety, given the financial strain it places on her business, reports The New York Times.

“We know people want to start healthier habits, and we respect that,” she said of the month where business also slows due to consumers suffering from holiday fatigue and stay home more due to the cold weather.

Fifteen percent of American adults planned to participate in Dry January by abstaining from drinking alcoholic beverages, according to Morning Consult, a data research company.

And this year, an ongoing “tripledemic” of flu, Covid, and RSV, along with economic uncertainty for many, poses challenges for New York’s nightlife scene. Nearly three in four (73 percent) of those embracing Dry January were skipping alcohol to save money, according to Morning Consult.

“There is always a slight seasonal downturn in January, but the situation has definitely been more fraught at this moment in time,” said Zack Kinney, a founder of Kings County Brewers Collective, a brewery in Bushwick, Brooklyn. “There is still Covid, inflation is higher, people are more sensitive about spending money, all those things are contributing to the tight squeeze on top of Dry January.” Full Story

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