HOUSTON — A Houston bar carries 350 brands of whiskey, but if you chose not to imbibe, you’ll definitely have company – in the owners.

John Reed and Leslie Nguyen opened Bosscat Kitchen in River Oaks two years ago.

The focus: well-crafted cocktails and American comfort food.

But Reed has been sober since 2013, and Nguyen since 2014.

Reed says working seven days a week and partying every night, lead him to hit rock bottom.

“Unfortunately it came to an ugly place,” says Reed.

“I had to go to rehab for 90 days.”

Nguyen’s moment of truth happened more than a year later, when she drove drunk and crashed into a semi truck. Everyone involved walked away from the accident uninjured.

But it happened just as the two were working on opening their first restaurant, and Reed gave Nguyen an ultimatum.

“I remember he looked at me and said, if you ever drink again, I’m done,” says Nguyen. “And that was it.”

The two say it took years to get adjusted to their new normal, but they never considered leaving the industry.

“We love the environment, we love the energy,” says Reed.

They both say they are committed to creating a great experience for their customers, and encourage their patrons to drink responsibly.

And while sobriety is something they work on every day, Nguyen and Reed have set a high bar for themselves.

“There is no chance we’d ever go back [to drinking alcohol], because we’ve seen how much success we’ve had without it.” says Reed.

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