Cesar Morales wasn't lying when he told New Times a few months back that he was gauging public opinion in order to create a bar to please the common people.
We're paraphrasing, but he did post questions on Facebook, asking what beer people wanted to drink. After the soft opening, he adjusted some of his musical expectations. And all of that has so far led to success!
During that initial hour of gratis booze, it was nearly impossible to scratch your ass in the place. The free drinks helped loosen up the atmosphere, though, as people got deep into heavy chatting and even dancing.
DJs Lolo and Ryan Evans played music that was hard not to like. There was some Phoenix, Talking Heads, Beatles. It was, again, following the pleaser concept, totally easy to swallow. Sometimes you want a challenge, and sometimes you just want a drink.
The beverages at Wood are incredibly affordable. Like, the cheapest around. Boozers almost never get top shelf for six dollars at spots this close to downtown or South Beach. Even craft beers are five bucks. It's like a Williamsburg drinking hole, minus (dare I use the word) hipsters.
That's not to say the people last night were uncool. The joint just lacked an impenetrable forrest of skinny jean legs and lensless thick-rimmed glasses. That element existed, but it wasn't overwhelming. People looked comfortable, chatting, not trying to vogue ironically the whole night. The cocktail waitresses, cute with tattoos and colorful hair, are the perfect perk to the rustic interior. They also make avoiding the bar a breeze.
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The guy from Ribs-2-Go was out back grilling burgers, dogs, and smoking barbecue. FYI, the burger with honey mustard barbecue sauce is out of this world. Never did this writer ever think she'd say so about a burger that didn't also include pickles. But this one -- meat, bread, sauce -- was totally solid.
Wood Tavern is a neighborhood bar, exactly like Morales wanted. With both indoor and outdoor spaces, vintage touches, and christmas lights, it's comfortable, attractive, and most importantly, it's affordable.
Go for the cute cocktail waitresses, cheap booze, good barbecue.