The Sober Parrot?  A New Venue for Cheltenham

(Please note. Sober Parrot is now open, for review please visit This blog article was written prior to opening.)

You may be missing the (closed) Number 7 Wine Bar in St James’s Square (not far from The Fire Station pub/restaurant). It was pretty highly rated. Anyway, prepare to welcome The Sober Parrot. There’s a lot going on in this just off-centre-corner of town. Nearby you’ll find restaurants such as the Bottle of Sauce and galleries such as Chapel Arts opening up.

The Sober Parrot will be Cheltenham’s first alcohol-free late night entertainment venue, a community enterprise from The Nelson Trust Hub Project, a local charity. To understand the idea behind The Sober Parrot, you need to understand the Nelson Trust. It was founded in 1985 in Stroud, as a residence for people recovering from addiction. Its admirable list of achievements since has included the Women’s Centre in Gloucester and the Hub Bistro. Along the way they’ve picked up support from Russell Brand and the Duchess of Cambridge. The Sober Parrot is the latest venture. Now open (see above)!

Sober Parrot

The new venue, which is expected to open later in August, will host live music and events. It’s a great idea and the concept contributes perfectly to the Nelson Trust’s objective of finding space for addicts to recover.

Why Sober Parrot? Alcohol and drug dependency in the hospitality industry.

We shouldn’t kid ourselves that the unsocial hours, pressure and graft involved in the hospitality industry doesn’t lead to drug and alcohol issues. And there’s a cruel irony that Cheltenham restaurants and hotels, with their need for low pay, low skill staff are often the way back into work for those in recovery from addiction. The Sober Parrot idea works on two levels – by firstly offering an alcohol-free venue. Secondly a staffing policy that helps people in recovery from addiction to gain life skills, train and gather the experience to help them return to long term, paid employment.

And, just in case we’ve made all that sound rather worthy hopefully it will, above all, work on the straightforward level of being a welcome addition to the Cheltenham venue scene. Entertainment is more than just alcohol, as the fundraisers say.

If you’d like to get involved from the very start there’s a Just Giving page here: