Biz Buzz Monday: New sober social space coming to Dubuque

Biz Buzz shares business tidbits from the tri-state area. In addition to this development from Dubuque, we will share other news in Tuesday’s edition.

A new sober social space is set to open this month in Dubuque.

Natural Nectars will open within the next two weeks at 1842 Central Ave. The business will be open nights and weekends and is meant to offer a sober alternative to Dubuque’s myriad bars and breweries.

“We’re going for a very calming vibe where people can feel safe and supported,” said owner Tyler Kohl. “I’ve said it before, but this isn’t my clubhouse. This is the community’s clubhouse.”

Kohl plans to fill the menu with a variety of kava drinks and botanical teas. Kava is a powder made from a root native to the Pacific Islands. When crushed and mixed with water, it’s been shown to reduce anxiety or stress.

Kohl said that makes kava a great alternative to alcohol, as it has relaxing qualities without the intoxicating results of alcohol. It can be consumed alone mixed in water or combined with various flavors.

“It can be an acquired taste, so that’s why we can mix some flavors in there,” Kohl said. “The favorite of a lot of people is our island escape. It’s a kind of fruity, tropical drink with watermelon and pineapple.”

Natural Nectars previously operated as a pop-up at Grand Tap, a Dubuque bar run by Kohl’s father.

As demand grew, he decided to take the plunge and find a brick-and-mortar location.

He chose the Central Avenue storefront for its visibility to drive-by traffic and because of the city’s planned investment into the area under the Central Avenue Corridor Streetscape Master Plan.

In addition to the kava bar, Natural Nectars also will host a regular dart league and have a children’s area for patrons with kids. Kohl also plans to purchase the NFL Sunday Ticket, which includes access to Sunday afternoon NFL games not carried by local broadcasters.

“I’m just excited to have a place for people to have a good time,” Kohl said. “I’m just taking some aspects of (more traditional) bars and putting some of my own twists on it.”

More information about Natural Nectars can be found on its Facebook page at That page is also the best way to contact the business, Kohl said.