LANSING, Mich. — Wing Heaven Sports Haven has everything you’d expect from a sports bar: big screen TVs, boneless wings, and pool tables. The one thing it doesn’t have? Alcohol.
Before venturing into the restaurant business, co-owners Teresa Stokes and Alina Branscombe ran Pinnacle Recovery Services, a Lansing non-profit housing program for underserved communities.
Branscombe says their work at Pinnacle helped her understand the needs of people recovering from addiction.
“Not only do they need housing, but they need social activities and other things to do other than just have a nice place to live,” she said.
Stokes says COVID-19 has made recovery even more isolating.
“Even the AA and NA clubs were closed during this pandemic, so they were sort of on their own additional lockdown," said Stokes. "That social piece had become so important to them.”
For Stokes, it’s deeply important too.
“In 2020, I lost a brother and a nephew nine months and five days apart to the same overdose, so it’s personal. We wanted to create a very safe place,” she said.
Branscombe, who will be 10 years sober in September, hopes Wing Heaven Sports Haven will help destigmatize people in recovery.
“Everybody deserves an opportunity to recover regardless of what the substance, or the drug, or the addiction is," she said.
“It could be your very first minute, your very first hour, your very first day. If this place is going to make you feel safe, come in,” said Stokes.
Like other Michigan bars, Wing Heaven Sports Haven is now open at 50 percent capacity.
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