Chicago/ Retail & Industry
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Published on April 22, 2024
Logan Square in Chicago to Welcome Solar Intentions, an Astrology-Themed Sober Bar, by Summer's EndSource: Instagram/Bella Peterson

As the sun sets this summer, a new dawn will casually rise in Chicago's nightlife. Logan Square will soon be the home to Solar Intentions, an astrology-themed sober bar spearheaded by local entrepreneur Morgan Martinez. The establishment's inception crowdfunded through a Kickstarter campaign, garnered upwards of $47,000, surpassing its $45,000 goal. According to a report by Block Club Chicago, the bar aims to provide a vibrant, alcohol-free venue by the end of summer.

Martinez, a Kenosha, Wisconsin native and fixture in Chicago's cultural scene as the editor-in-chief for Hooligan Magazine, was driven to reevaluate her consumption of alcohol amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Deciding to become sober on January 1, 2022, she has since been determined to radically alter local bar culture, emphasizing the growing demand for sober spaces in a city known for its spirited taverns. "I want this to feel like a home and also a pit stop for people," Martinez expressed in a statement obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, emphasizing the importance of creating a genuine 'third space' for those looking to socialize without the pressure of alcohol.

Solar Intentions is more just than a sober bar. It doubles as a tarot card lounge and is poised to feature an array of nonalcoholic beer and wine options, alongside bespoke astrology-inspired mocktails. The bar's social calendar also includes plans for DJ sets, community workshops, and karaoke nights, aligning with Martinez's commitment to providing a welcoming, LGBTQ+-friendly environment.

Influenced by her encounter with Inmoxicated, a sober bar in Racine, Wisconsin, Martinez is now looking to not only fill a gap but also to foster community spirit. In her advocacy for sobriety, she sees Solar Intentions as a hub for mindful socializing in a city that could indeed use more options. “Just go and have fun,” Cristina Torres, a local businessperson and collaborator on the project who first got wind of it through her patronage at Bendición Bottle Shop, told Block Club Chicago. “You don’t have to constantly think of when you’re going to get your next drink.”

The establishment, which had a special pop-up feature at events like the Chicago Athletic Association and Latino Spirits Festival, is already gaining traction within the community. Drawing heavily from her queer identity and the connective power of astrology, Martinez hopes to seamlessly align these values with her vision for Solar Intentions. She told the Chicago Sun-Times, "I’ve found that it has brought a lot of people together, almost organically, as a means to understand who we are and our place in the world."