If your favorite Wynwood haunt, Wood Tavern, is crazy with out-of-towners this Art Basel weekend, wait a week. A new place a stone's throw away, the Bar Next Door, will open Friday, December 11, just a few doors down from Wood Tavern, at 2519 NW Second Ave., in the former Mmmm space.
If you're thinking Wood might get a little jelly that a bar is opening just down the block, don't worry — the Bar Next Door is also owned by the Wood Tavern Group. Wood's big boss, Cesar Morales, thinks of it as an extension of the family. "The Bar Next Door is sorta like the older brother that's more serious and went to college or something."
That's not to say the new bar will get all highfalutin or something. The same charms that make Wood Tavern a mecca for Wynwood denizens are here too — such as affordability. "Price point is something I am extremely sensitive to," Morales explains. That means a full bar with reasonably priced drinks and a food menu that features classic bar fare like cheeseburgers, chicken wings, and French fries. Morales' fries, if you recall, were a highlight of Benchwarmers, the bar owner's midtown sports bar that shuttered last year due to what the bar owner called "exorbitant rent."
Morales promises burgers will hover around $7 to $8. "Don't think fancy mushrooms or Gruyère cheese," he says. "Think Shake Shack or In-N-Out. Simple and delicious."
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Morales opened Wood Tavern during Art Basel 2011. The shabby-chic bar instantly became the meeting place for Wynwood's eclectic mix of artists, musicians, bartenders, and drinkers, who flocked for the laid-back vibes, music, cheap drinks, themed parties, and taco Tuesdays. Morales promises the same feel at the Bar Next Door. "Locals-focused and affordable, the Bar Next Door won’t feel too big or too small. It’s a just-right addition to the neighborhood and a perfect companion establishment to Wood Tavern."
The Bar Next Door is open from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily.