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Monday, March 15, 2021

A sober sports and wings bar just opened in Lansing — the first of its kind in Michigan

Posted By on Mon, Mar 15, 2021 at 3:55 PM

click to enlarge Wing Heaven Sports Haven in East Lansing doesn't serve booze. - COURTESY OF WING HEAVEN SPORTS HAVEN
  • Courtesy of Wing Heaven Sports Haven
  • Wing Heaven Sports Haven in East Lansing doesn't serve booze.

In what is a major touchdown for Michigan's sober community, the state just scored its first sober and recovery-oriented booze-free sports bar.

Wing Heaven Sports Haven, a Michigan-based franchise, just opened its doors for carry-out-only service in Lansing, and though it has all of the makings of your run-of-the-mill sports bar, it doesn't serve a drop of alcohol, making it the first of its kind in the state.

“When you are on probation or anything, you can't even go to Applebee's because they serve alcohol,” co-owner Teresa Stokes told The Lansing Street Journal. “But you still need somewhere to go and have social engagement other than AA or NA meetings.”

Described by Stokes as being like a Buffalo Wild Wings sans booze, Wing Heaven Sports Haven features TVs and tabletop games, like pool and air hockey, and a finger-licking menu boasting traditional and boneless wings, burgers, subs, chicken strips, fried fish, and sides like fried mushrooms, jalapeño poppers, and “mountain fries” (that's 1 lb. of french fries loaded up with meat, cheese, and veggies for $7.99).

In lieu of boozy cocktails, they offer soda, Kool-Aid, and specialty drinks, like Fizzy Pineapple Punch, Mermaid Lemonade, and the alcohol-free classic, the Shirley Temple.

As Stokes says, Wing Heaven caters directly to those who cannot — or do not want to — be around booze, many of whom are in recovery, which reflects a thoughtful theme in Stokes' life. Stokes is also the owner of Pinnacle Recovery Services, a Lansing-based nonprofit that serves as a housing program for people in recovery from substance abuse as well as those with mental health disorders. As for Wing Heaven, Stokes says she hopes the sober bar becomes a trend throughout other Michigan communities.

“It's somewhere to go and not worry about the next table ordering a drink,” Stokes said. “They can come here and watch a game, shoot pool or play air hockey. It's the same environment as a bar, minus the alcohol.”

Wing Heaven Sports Haven opened Monday, March 15 at 3812 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and is currently only offering carryout between 11 a.m.-11 p.m. seven days a week, but customers are invited to hang out inside — with masks — to play games or sit at tables while they wait for their orders.

For more information visit Wing Heaven Sports Haven's Facebook page.

For those facing struggles with addiction or maintaining sobriety, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a free, confidential hotline you can call 24/7 for referrals, support, and resources: 1-800-662-HELP.

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