Non-Drinking meet-ups, FTW! July 9, 2013 10:49 AM   Subscribe

Hey folks. So I realize that I don't even look at meet-ups anymore because I don't drink. So I just wanted to promote the idea of a Brooklyn or NYC or whatever area non-barhopping meet-up. Have a favorite coffeehouse or less snooty spot that you dig? A non-drinking-centric hole in the wall or other like thing?

I'm not looking at this as a "those dirty drinkers" thing or even as a AA type thing. I just don't go to bars really anymore, all my friends are truly epic drinkers so I don't see them, and am feeling too old to sit at a table full of good people pounding drinks while I sip water and look at my watch.

I don't even go to IRL (just looked….ahh, professional white background) so I'm not sure if it would be a tagging thing or what? I spoke with Mod Central and the ok'd me posting this here but expressed interest in it moving over to IRL after we batted it around here.

So what say you, fine people?

I promise not to use the word "thing" for a very long time
posted by nevercalm to MetaFilter-Related at 10:49 AM (33 comments total)

nevercalm; the next Manhatten meetup is not booze based. So, you might want to go to that, and also its evidence that other folks are up for non-drinking meetups.

I might show up to that one - it'd be my first IRL mefi meetup.
posted by el io at 10:52 AM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

1. Try visiting IRL. It may already have what you are looking for.
2. If IRL doesn't have what you are looking for, post a new meetup for the thing you are looking to do while meeting up.
3. ???
posted by carsonb at 10:59 AM on July 9, 2013 [9 favorites]

I'd think it would help to have in mind whether you're after a meetup where drinking isn't the focus of it (basically anywhere that's not a bar, or is more food place than bar), or a meetup with no drinking at all. There was a big meetup in Boston a little while ago where we all went to this place in Chinatown and folks maybe had a beer or two with dinner but no one got roaring drunk or anything.

If you're looking for the former, I'm led to understand that people do dim sum and dinner and whatnot fairly often. If the latter, maybe museums or something?
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:06 AM on July 9, 2013

I don't go to meetups; not because I don't drink alcohol but because there aren't any mefites near me. However I have met a couple of awsome mefites one on one when I have been travelling and they are good people (You know who you are).
posted by adamvasco at 11:18 AM on July 9, 2013

Non-booze focused meetups are great. Certainly, there are people who would not choose to go to such an event (much as you choose not to go to bars) but you've got to be the change you want to see in the world on something like this. Go propose a sober meetup!
posted by Rock Steady at 11:19 AM on July 9, 2013

Our board game meetups in Brooklyn are not bar based. Many folks do bring beer, but there are many who don't drink, as well.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:20 AM on July 9, 2013

I would be interested in a booze-free (or very very booze-optional) meetup. I do drink (and plan to at this one tomorrow), but am currently on a low-carb eating regimen, so I don't do it often anymore, and when I do, I tend to not go crazy and therefore usually end up leaving earlier than most.

A cafe would be good. So would volunteering. I think there's usually an NYC Cares type thing around Christmas.
posted by bookwibble at 11:20 AM on July 9, 2013

And the next one is this Saturday! Come! We'd love to have you join us.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:21 AM on July 9, 2013

Really, keep an eye on IRL. There was a WONDERFUL meetup at Coney Island last Sunday that was based on hotdogs, fish, and baseball. You shoulda been there!
posted by JanetLand at 11:57 AM on July 9, 2013

Similarly, the regular Boston trivia meetup does take place at a bar, but is actually trivia-based and it's fine not to drink - I often don't.
posted by maryr at 12:04 PM on July 9, 2013

Yeah, it seems like the easiest solution is to actually look at what's on IRL.

Create your own meetups if nothing on there appeals to you.

Here in SF there have been both very booze-oriented and completely booze-uninvolved meetups and both have gotten good turn outs.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:41 PM on July 9, 2013

I've told non-drinking mefites previously that their company is far more important than the contents of their glass.
posted by brujita at 12:52 PM on July 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

I stopped drinking eight-ish months ago but attend a Friday Night Drinks thing with my friends every single week. It never matters that I'm not drinking and they are -- it's just about catching up.

Also, some bars have amazing french fries and since I'm not using any calories on alcohol I can eat as many as I want.

But mostly it's about the catching up.
posted by kate blank at 1:04 PM on July 9, 2013

As an "almost never" drinker, I totally get this. (Though the last two [and only] Metafilter-related things I went to a made exceptions... hmm...)

There've been a fair number of this kind of thing in NYC the past (and present as ocherdraco notes). Quests to NJ for Indian food, trips to flushing for roasted meats, hikes, a visit to the FIT Museum, etc. Feel free to post non-drinking stuff. I'm not very likely to go to anything, but I'm probably slightly more likely to go to non-drinking stuff myself.
posted by Jahaza at 1:08 PM on July 9, 2013

There have been board gaming meetups. And, while the Sakura festival meetup fizzled because we failed to find each other, it was a meetup arranged around walking through the botanical gardens. There's one pending for a walk across the Brooklyn bridge (admittedly with barhopping after, but it's not the main point.) We've also had Korean food and (over the river in NJ) Indian food meetups.
posted by Karmakaze at 1:16 PM on July 9, 2013

We frequently meet in bars/coffeehouses in Austin and even though I am now for medical reasons ($%^$#%^ pills) on limited booze and have never been a coffee drinker, I wouldn't hesitate to go to one. They're basically at places where we can sit and catch up.
posted by immlass at 1:24 PM on July 9, 2013

I'm having a BBQ at my place in August. There will be alcohol there, but it's not a bar. So there's an option. You could always pick a place and post a meetup in IRL! I think there would be interest in almost anything fun.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:47 PM on July 9, 2013

Yeah, if you're ever in Austin, you can come to a meetup and watch me drink coffee until I literally vibrate. dancestoblue and I had a 2-person meetup a couple weeks back, and goddam, I got tanked on caffeine. Was up till 2 in the am. Alcohol is a crutch, and coffee is like a personal assistant!

I'm actually down to 1 cup a day on "ordinary" (is there such a thing?) days, but I will make exceptions on weekends, like for say Epoch's Mexican Chocolate Mocha Espresso. WOOOO!!
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:08 PM on July 9, 2013

We also have had two "walk the length of broadway" meetups in the past couple of years. I think we had beer at the end, but I was pretty focused on the pizza/burgers.

I'm also not much for drinking and while I have no problems attending meetups in bars, I tend to be more interested in other locations and I've found the New York City meetup selection to be pretty good for that. Yes, there's a weekly meetup at a bar in Brooklyn. It is definitely not the only meetup available as about 8 billion people have commented above.

It would be nice to have an "under 21" sort of tag to distinguish meetups that are in locations where drinking is either not happening or a very minor part of the procedure.
posted by sciencegeek at 2:16 PM on July 9, 2013

The other night I tried to go to a show
But the man at the door
He told me no.
He said, "No one under 21 allowed"
But he must have been stupid 'cause I saw my friends in the crowd.
He said, "You can't buy an alcoholic drink"
"So we don't care what you really think"

Why'd this happened to me?
And the show was for free!
It sucks to be
Under 21

posted by maryr at 3:05 PM on July 9, 2013

I didn't drink any alcohol at any of the 3 Austin meet-ups I've attended. No one noticed or cared what I was drinking. No one got obviously drunk. Mainly it was just a lot of talking with interesting folks.
posted by Daddy-O at 3:33 PM on July 9, 2013

It could be a great thing for people who recently quit drinking. I avoided situations with alcohol completely for months, personally. I find that eventually it stopped being much of a problem (although I don't hang with people who are drinking hard - I didn't really like hanging with drunk people even when I was one, actually).
posted by thelonius at 3:45 PM on July 9, 2013

I arranged a lunch meetup ages ago, in a restaurant. I think one person had a beer with his sandwich, but booze wasn't the focus of the gathering.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:56 PM on July 9, 2013

A lot of the Pittsburgh meetups have been non-alcoholic or at least non-focused. We've met at a coffee shop, an arboretum, an art/dinosaur museum and a science museum.
posted by octothorpe at 4:08 PM on July 9, 2013

Well hot damn if you all don't rock. I guess I had just poked in on the first bunch of meetups that all seemed to be heavily geared in that direction. You'll all be seeing me, perhaps even Saturday! Thanks folks.
posted by nevercalm at 4:12 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

"Have a favorite coffeehouse or less snooty spot that you dig?"

I don't drink alcohol or coffee. ='(

I will, however, slake my thirst on your tears, sampled from your cheek with my satin tongue.
posted by Eideteker at 8:10 PM on July 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Tricks on you, my tears are primarily made of coffee and alcohol.

That's what makes them so delicious.
posted by maryr at 8:25 PM on July 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

lalex is talking about the Chicago meetups where we go to Ronald McDonald house. They're awesome, and there's no alcohol. Our next one is on July 20th. New York has a Ronald McDonald house too.
posted by garlic at 11:16 AM on July 10, 2013

Sign me up...I like to drink, but it gets expensive. I get (I think) where you're coming from. Yes, there are a ton of activity meetups...but what about something that's located in a cafe instead of a bar? Like, we don't have to do some activity to avoid drinking. We can just sit and avoid drinking.
posted by skbw at 7:22 PM on July 11, 2013

How do mefites recognize each other when they meetup?

Is there a passphrase or a handsignal?
posted by yonega at 8:18 PM on July 11, 2013

Occasionally actual table tents, and I have made an e-table tent by filling my iPhone screen with the Metafilter logo and standing it on edge.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:25 PM on July 11, 2013

How do mefites recognize each other when they meetup?

I've always had good luck just looking for the people who appear to be attempting to recognize people they've never met before. If you are uncomfortable going up to random people and asking them if they are from the Internet, you can always try this gambit: "I'm sorry, you look terribly familiar. Do you know Matt Haughey?"
posted by Rock Steady at 11:37 PM on July 11, 2013

I also try to wear my MeFi t-shirt to Meetups if I can remember it.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:38 PM on July 11, 2013

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