person walking on sidewalk outside speaking with caption 'So I was out at a very popular East Village bar in Manhattan um' (l) person walking on sidewalk outside speaking with caption 'and go to the waitress and like hey can I have a non alcoholic drink' (c) person walking on sidewalk outside speaking with caption 'I just like full of vodka' (r)

‘It’s just like full of vodka’: Man sober 16 months says bar served him alcohol after he repeatedly asked for a virgin drink

'I just felt not welcome there.'


Tricia Crimmins


Posted on Apr 4, 2023

A sober TikToker says that he was served alcohol at a bar after asking for a nonalcoholic drink four times.

In a TikTok posted on Monday, Evan Rugen (@bowerboi) says that when he was at a bar with friends, he asked a server for a nonalcoholic drink. He says he confirmed with the bartender that his drink would be nonalcoholic and asked the server a second time if his drink was nonalcoholic.

The drink he was served still contained alcohol.

“It’s just like full of vodka,” Rugen, who has been sober for 16 months, said of the drink. “My stomach starts to hurt.”

Rugen says his server confirmed again that his drink was alcohol-free, even though he tasted alcohol in it.

“I’m just so tired,” Rugen said in his TikTok, which on Tuesday had almost 50,000 views. “When is this gonna stop?”

@boweryboi What would u do in this situation and what context do u need for this story #nycapartment #nycsubway #boweryboi ♬ original sound – BoweryBoi

Many commenters who identified themselves as sober asked Rugen to share the name of the bar so they could avoid it.

“Please name drop so the rest of us non drinking New Yorkers can avoid this place,” @styledbymodesto commented.

“I would like to know the place so [I know] to not go there,” @ericanewberg wrote. “This has happened to me before too.”

“As a sober person also please name drop,” @user865468990 commented. “It would help keep our community safe.”

In an interview with the Daily Dot and follow-up TikTok, Rugen said the bar that served him alcohol after he repeatedly asked for a nonalcoholic drink was Goodnight Sonny in New York City.

The bar did not immediately respond to the Daily Dot’s requests for comment.

“They usually do a very good job,” Rugen said of the bar. “This is something bars are going to really have to watch out for moving forward,” because studies show that younger people are sober-curious, and many have an aversion to alcohol.

With regard to his experience at Goodnight Sonny, Rugen said that the servers’ negligence was “very frustrating” and upset him.

“There wasn’t a whole lot of sympathy,” Rugen told the Daily Dot. “I just felt not welcome there.”

Rugen asked viewers to give the bar a 1-star review on Google because it’s the “only way to make a change… until upper management notices,” and many have already done so.

“Ridiculously careless and dangerous,” Matt Jacobson wrote in his 1-star Google review of Goodnight Sonny. “Do better.”

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*First Published: Apr 4, 2023, 12:21 pm CDT