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Wood Tavern: Two Dollar Tacos

Wood Tavern: Two Dollar Tacos


The Wood Tavern offers an appreciated break from the rest of the Miami scene. It hosts a laid-back vibe that suits the young hipsters who frequent the venue.

You won’t have to throw out the big bucks here like you might in other bars in Miami. The cheap drinks, like a five-dollar whiskey and coke, wont break the bank.

I would definitely recommend the tacos from the truck out back; they are only two dollars! Come on a Sunday to experience Wood Tavern’s “Backyard Boogie.” You and your friends can hang out on the outdoor patio, soak up the sun, and drink one of the craft beers from the extensive collection.

If the Florida sun gets too much for you, you can grab a booth inside, and listen to the DJ. And if crowds aren’t your thing, skip coming on a Saturday, as it is one of the more popular days for Wood Tavern.


Locker Room

6 Photos Taco Joint

Let’s talk about what happened yesterday.

Well, actually, no. It’s time to move on. To heal. To drink tequila. And lots of it.

Introducing Taco Joint, a new Lincoln Park cantina overflowing with cheap tacos, fresh guac and so much tequila they’ll let you stash it in a locker for safekeeping. so you won’t mind cleaning it out at the end of the season.

It’s a cozy den in the space that once held Minnie’s—there’s even that same walk-up window, so in a few weeks you’ll be able to order that quick elote on the go.

But you’ll want to settle inside. The walls now look like distressed Mexican beer and tequila billboards, the kind you’d find in some dusty and hard-bitten taco dive. You know, the kind of place that serves nothing but cold beer, tequila, two-buck goat tacos, three-dollar duck tacos, citrus-cured tilapia ceviche, fresh fruit guacamole and that drink of desperadoes everywhere, the Hibiscus Cooler.

But there are 50 tequilas available, so maybe you’ll just want to stick to those. Grab a seat at the front bar, summon the bartender over and have at it. But if there’s one you grow particularly fond of, you’ll want to arrange to store it away in a special tequila locker for a special occasion.


COCKTAILS

MAJOR MOJITO

Cruzan Light Rum, house Mojito syrup, soda water, fresh limes, mint

NEW YORKER

Templeton Rye Whiskey, Sweet Vermouth, Dry Vermouth, brandied cherries

KOCO-MO

Malibu Coconut Rum, 360 Raspberry Vodka, cranberry and lime juices

ANOTHA' ONE

Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey, Grand Marnier, lemonade, orange juice

SINGED CITRUS

Smoky Del Maguey Vida Mezcal, grapefruit and lime juices, soda water


Executive chef Scott Coffman says he spent two years perfecting the cauliflower toast on Pura Vida's menu. "We steam the cauliflower and turn it into a paste and fold in some flour to bind it," he says. "We put fresh ginger, coriander, lime and pine nuts to help it. We spread that on the bread and fry it in sesame oil and add scallion pesto. The result is crispy bread with a sweet and spicy sauce to go with it."

The asparagus salad at Fire Food and Drink is served with house-made pancetta, local greens and an egg-and-caper oil dressing. "[The pancetta] cures for a time and is sliced very thin and roasted and gets crispy," says owner and chef Doug Katz. "For this preparation, we'll blanch it and lay two crispy, sliced pieces next to the asparagus, which will be local when we can get it."

Why didn't we like it as kids?

"The reason mostly is because of the way people cooked it. . You put it in a pot and boil it and put it on a plate. That's totally different than if you take the time to make the flavor of the vegetable work."

"It has some acidity sometimes that kids wouldn't like. Most of the reason why kids don't like food is because the preparation is not good. People either overcooked or cooked bad asparagus, so it was woody tasting."

As a chef, how did you overcome that?

"When you make it more interesting than steamed cauliflower. people are more likely to try it, especially when it is prepared to resemble something you might normally like."

"Peel the bottoms. You know if you're getting the best part because it will break where the woody part ends and the tender part begins. You blanch it in salty water for just a few moments, too."

What was the original inspiration?

"It's inspired by shrimp toast, which is one of my favorite things to eat. I wanted to make a vegan version of it because I love the flavor of cauliflower, especially with those types of Vietnamese flavors."

"Asparagus with hollandaise. Ian Thompson, who's my chef de cusine, came up with this dish, and it's a French classic, so I definitely give him credit for the preparation."


Happy Hour Deals in Fairfield, CT

When 5 PM hits, it's almost impossible not to hear Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett sing "it's 5 o'clock somewhere." Happy Happy Hour!

While Happy Hour is, of course, the happiest hour of the day, it might not make your bank account as happy after you drop $50 on overpriced cocktails and snacks.

I'd always wished there was a Yellow Pages equivalent to Happy Hour deals near me. So that's exactly what this is: the bible for all Happy Hour deals in the Fairfield, CT area. With that said: Happy Happy Hour!

Old Post Tavern Everyday 3pm-6pm. BOGO on house wines, well drinks, bottle and draft beer, $5 flatbreads and $1 sliders. Buy a drink and get a token for a free drink! Tuesdays are Wine Nights: 1/2 priced bottles of wine from 4pm to closing!

Geronimo Mon-Sat 4pm-7pm & Late Night 10pm-close: $5 classic margarita, $7 infused spicy or cucumber margaritas, $3 Corona Light draft, $5 red and white wines by the glass. With chips and guac and chicken tinga quesadilla at just $6, skillet nachos, jalapeño poppers, chicken wings, and short rib taquitos all for $5, and Chimayo BBQ glazed pork nickels at $3, their Happy Hour snacks are not to be slept on. Geronimo-yes.

Malibu Taco Mon-Fri 3pm-6pm: 1/2 price on all drinks, $10 Malibu Taco tray, 1/2 priced quesadillas, & happy hour bar snack menu coming soon!

Molto No official happy hour BUT every Molto Monday is your time to shine with 1/2 priced bottles of wine.

Craft 260 Mon-Fri 3:30pm-6:30pm, Wednesday 3:30-close (catch us there every hump day until further notice): $2 off drafts, $4 house red or white wine, $3 PBR, Bud Light, & Full Sail session lager, $5 well drinks and $8 craft cocktails. For snacking, choose from $4 pretzels (2), $5 beer brussels, $5 wings (5), $5 cheeseburger and fries, $8 craft nachos, or an $8 Margherita flatbread. On Mondays get $5 draft beers, and on Sundays get 1/2 price on all bottles of wine and beer. Cheers to that.

Local Tues-Fri 4pm-7pm: $4 draft beers, $4 tap wines, $4 well drinks, $5 small plates (wings, popcorn chicken and more), $2 sliders and $2 fries. Hit up Local Mondays too- $3 select draft after 3 pm!

Brick + Wood Weekdays 4pm-6pm, Thursday 4pm-close (only at the bar): $5 dollar street food, $8 cocktails, $6 beer, and all wines that are normally under $10 are $7 a glass.

Quattro Pazzi Cafe Brand new happy hour menu coming soon! Follow them on social media for more information!

Mecha Noodle Bar Mon-Fri 3pm-6pm: $4 KFC Bao, $7 Mojo Jojo fries, $6 spicy miso (same size as the normal order), $5 Yuzu (has a citrusy fruit taste!) mai tai, $5 hot and cold house saki, $5 red and white wines, and $5 draft beers!

Flipside Burgers and Bar Mon-Sat 3pm-6pm: all drinks half priced, $25 Monsters, and small plates ($7 hot dogs $7 sliders and $4 tacos). PLUS their weekly lineup: $7 specialty martinis on Martini Monday, $4 draft beers for On Tap Tuesday, 1/2 priced bottles of wine and 1/2 priced pitchers of sangria for Wine Wednesday, $25 monster drinks on Monster Thursday, $12 bucket of Coronitas & $25 Monster margaritas for Fiesta Friday, 25% off glasses and pitchers plus $25 Monster sangrias for Sangria Saturday, 1/2 priced margaritas all day Margarita Sunday.

Bodega Taco Bar Tues-Fri 4pm-7pm at the bar, Monday ALL NIGHT (4pm-11pm): $3 Americano, $3 Modellos, $4 New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale, $4 Lord Hobo Sessions IPA, $6 Bodegarita, $6 Bodega Surprise, $6 Roca Patron Shot, $6 glasses of wine, $6.50 Soho Palona Spritz, $7 Pineapple Mezcal Margarita, and $8 Passionrita! For food: $6 Queso Fundido Chorizo, $7 Duck Nachos, $5 Bodega "Half & Half," $3 Crispy Americano, $6.50 Veg Rajas Nachos, & $7 Tostada de Pollo. Last but not least, hit them up on Taco Tuesdays: ALL DAY $16 all you can eat tacos OR $22 all you can eat tacos with one margarita. Let the games begin.

Plan B Burger Bar Mon-Fri 3pm-6pm (open until 8 on Thursday): half priced appetizers, $4 tots, $3 fry baskets, and you can mix and match mini burgers! Plus $3 daft beers, $4 house wines, and a mix of signature cocktails. Monday nights they have karaoke, Tuesdays from 3pm-close bottles of wine are half price, and Wednesdays they have trivia night at 8pm!

Brick Walk Tavern Sun-Fri 3pm-6pm: BOGO drinks with $8 appetizers (chips and onion dip, fried chick peas, chicken wings, meatballs, shrimp, dumplings and more).

Hub and Spoke Mon-Fri 3pm-7pm: $5 on all apps like nachos, deviled eggs, garlic bread, chicharonnes, cauliflower tempura, eggplant caponata, beer battered cheese curds, clam fritters, meatball sliders, and pulled pork sliders. Draft beers are $5, domestic beers are $3, tall boy cans are $2, house wines are $5, and get $2 off all specialty cocktails.

Archie Moore's Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm: $6 pretzels, pickles, boneless wings, nachos, and more with a dollar off your drink! They have trivia every Thursday night at 8pm in Fairfield and it's free to play with drink specials and prizes!

The Sinclair Mon-Fri 3pm-6pm: half priced all beers, wines, cocktails, and spirits with small plates like Jambalaya, broccolini, muscles, shrimp cocktail, artichokes, penne alla vodka, wings, truffle fries, and more.

Taco Loco Tues-Fri 3pm-6pm: $5 Herradura Frozen Margaritas, $3 Modelo and Tecate Beers. 2 for 1 Herradura Frozen Margaritas (2 for $8) on Tuesdays, $6 Mexican Bull Dog Margaritas and $3 Pacifico on Wednesdays, $5 Mojitos on Thursdays, $5 Altos Shots and Sangrias on Fridays. These drink deals are available all day even after Happy Hour! Grab 2 tacos and a shot for $10 during Happy Hour too. All appetizers are $5 (chicken quesadillas, cheese nachos, chicken & chorizo empanadas, ground beef tacos, buffalo wings, and more).

Toto Mon-Fri (until the Spring) 4pm-6pm: $6 appetizers (meatballs, rice balls, salads, mediterranean spreads, eggplant rolatini) and discounts such as $3 beer, $5 wine, and $6 for select cocktails.

BarTaco Mon-Fri 3pm-6:30pm: deals on a few cocktails on the menu. Their tacos are usually $2.50-$3.50 a piece!

Little Goose Mon-Fri 4pm-6pm: Half price nachos and spring rolls, half price wine, and $3 domestic beers.

Centro Sun-Thurs 4:30pm-6pm: All cocktails are half price! All pizzas are $8 (choose from Margherita, Americano, Eggplant Parmigiano, or Wild Mushroom), or snag two meatball sliders for only $6.


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The Six Best Places in Miami to Watch the Solar Eclipse

1. Gramps. Between trivia night and Villain Theater on Tuesdays, bingo night on Wednesdays, karaoke night on Thursdays, Friday Nite Live, and live performances throughout the weekend, this indoor-outdoor bar scores our top spot. Plus, with room to roam, dim lighting, a pizza shop inside called Pizza Tropical for when you get the munchies, and an awesome patio with unique seating arrangements, some of which are even blocked from clear view by walls, bushes, or a stage (very subtle), this Wynwood gem is a no-brainer. 176 NW 24th St., Miami 305-699-2669 gramps.com. Sunday through Wednesday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Thursday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.

2. Wood Tavern. Although even your dad has probably heard of Wood Tavern at this point, there&rsquos a reason a line snakes out the entrance every single weekend. From their large patio, complete with nearly a dozen communal tables, two wooden bleachers full of young people vibing and mingling, a makeshift dance floor, a DJ posted up in a colorful booth, large murals, and, best of all, tacos, you can&rsquot go wrong with Wood Tavern. Did we mention tacos? Yeah, tacos. Munchies level: Expert. 2531 NW Second Ave., Miami 305-748-2828 woodtavern.com. Tuesday through Saturday 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., Sunday 3 p.m. to midnight, Monday closed.

EXPAND

3. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. As SNL's Stefon would say, Miami&rsquos brand-new, multimillion-dollar science museum has it all: an impressive shark tank, state-of-the-art laser shows, and a light-up dance floor that responds to your steps with trippy special effects. Plus, the Frost Planetarium, with 16-million-color 8K projections, surround sound, and a 67-foot dome screen, takes you on dazzling visual odysseys to outer space. The dome is tilted forward at 23.5 degrees, allowing it to fill your field of vision as if you&rsquore flying &mdash imagery comes at you from above, below, and the periphery, creating a nearly 360-degree view of whatever world you&rsquore in. You'll leave feeling stoned whether you've smoked or not. 1101 Biscayne Blvd., Miami 305-434-9600 frostscience.org. Monday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
4. Haulover Beach Park. With food truck nights on Tuesdays, families playing sports, kite-flying, clear waters, a clean beach &mdash one that&rsquos much less crowded than South Beach &mdash and breathtaking views of the sunset, this beach park is perfect for relaxing after getting a buzz. Haulover also boasts a stretch of clothing-optional beach. Therefore, if you forget to pack a swimsuit or are trying to avoid tan lines, this place is for you. And if you're there during "dog beach" hours, it's for your furry best friend too. 10800 Collins Ave., Miami Beach 305-947-3525 miamiandbeaches.com. Sunrise to sunset.

5. O Cinema. If your ideal night usually involves Netflix and a couch, switch it up by watching an independent film at O Cinema. With three locations in Miami, including one right next to the Wynwood Yard, the cinema combines the chill vibes you crave while giving you a treat for your eyes on the screen. Plus, you&rsquoll be supporting independent film and a locally owned theater. 90 NW 29th St., Miami 305-571-9970 o-cinema.org. Thursday through Friday 6 p.m. to midnight, Saturday through Sunday 2 p.m. to midnight.

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6. Sweat Records. One of the best record stores in Miami, Sweat Records provides the exact atmosphere many people crave when they&rsquore a little stoned yet want to do something culturally interesting. You can lose yourself in a large collection of vinyl records, ranging from classic rock 'n&rsquo roll to contemporary pop. You can snack at a coffee shop that sells tea and vegan snacks nestled right inside. Or you can simply zone out to whatever hip music is playing while you're there. This spot might become a new go-to for lovers of music and weed. Plus, when the shop closes, you can head next door to Churchill&rsquos Pub, where you can catch a live performance and grab a drink. 5505 NE Second Ave., Miami 786-693-9309 sweatrecordsmiami.com. Monday through Saturday noon to 10 p.m., Sunday noon to 5 p.m.

7. Zoo Miami. This might sound cliché, but being high at the zoo is fun. Although this option might not be ideal during the hot summer, casually strolling through the zoo while enthusiastically taking Snapchat videos of all the animals and leisurely reading the plaques next to each animal habitat will have you feeling stress-free. 12400 SW 152nd St., Miami 305-251-0400 zoomiami.org. Monday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

8. Matheson Hammock Park. Just off of scenic Old Cutler Road in Coral Gables is the relaxing and beautiful Matheson Hammock Park. This place is so pretty it's often used for quinceañera pictures. With a beach, kayak and kiteboarding rentals, picnic benches, lakes, and even the romantic restaurant Red Fish Grill overlooking the water, Matheson Hammock is the perfect park for those looking for a classy, peaceful vibe. 9610 Old Cutler Rd., Miami 305-665-5475 miamidade.gov. The park is open sunrise to sunset Red Fish Grill is open 6 to 10 p.m. weekdays except Monday (when it's closed) and 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

9. Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. From bike rentals and picnic areas to a restaurant and historic lighthouse, this park is a favorite for many reasons. Relax on the beach, crack up at all of the grouchy-looking iguanas eyeing you, or set up a barbecue while taking in the breathtaking scenery. Pro tip: Climb to the top of the Cape Florida Lighthouse to catch the sunset. 1200 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne 305-361-5811 floridastateparks.org. Monday through Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

10. Hobie Island Beach Park. Last but not least, we had to include this nostalgic spot on &ldquothe Key,&rdquo where countless South Florida teens have smoked for the first time, right below the Rickenbacker Causeway. Don&rsquot let the bustling cars overhead deter you, because this beach is always packed with families, dogs, and teens as people wait to catch the sunset behind the gorgeous Miami skyline. You&rsquoll seriously feel like a teenager again. 3501 Rickenbacker Cswy., Key Biscayne 305-361-2833 miamiandbeaches.com. Sunrise to sunset.

Keep Miami New Times Free. Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.


BREWERY

taproom, restaurants & rooftop

Our brewery is located inside of an unique two story, dual restaurant concept. You can enjoy our brews while feasting on two award winning Restaurants in North East Ohio. ​

Barroco Arepa Bar (2nd floor)

Latin American food and cocktails with an amazing rooftop patio (best Latin restaurant 2011-2019, Best Restaurant 2020, Silver Spoon Award winner multiple years, Best Brunch Award winner 2019)

Wood fired tacos, birrias & tequila, authentic recipes made from real Mexican chiles and spices (Best New Restaurant award winner 2020)


Best Of :: Food & Drink

Though the Wynwood Arts District has evolved greatly in the past few years, its main strip has always been devoid of one key feature of any worthwhile neighborhood: a decent, no-nonsense, old-fashioned bar. Not to disrespect the venues serving drinks in the artsy area, but sometimes you just want to walk into a place with a 20-dollar bill in your pocket and leave with a few drinks in your gut. Thankfully, there's Wood Tavern. And tavern indeed is the perfect descriptor for this place, with wooden, brick, and plaid walls. There's also a buffalo head, a leprechaun statuette, and a profusion of comfy, vintage couches. Although it only opened this past December, the place has an air of familiarity. Of course, the sanely priced drinks including a pleasing selection of craft beers and signature cocktails, made us want to stick around. Forget familiarity, Wood is basically now our new best friend in Wynwood.

Nothing is more exciting than seeing the clock strike 5 p.m. when you're at work. You and your fellow employees dash to the front door of the office, elbow anyone who gets in your way, and head out in search of libation. We suggest Sandbar Sports Grill. Not only do the weekday happy hours offer half-priced drinks and appetizers from 4 to 7 p.m., but you can also catch almost any game on one of 26 TV sets. Sure, you might run into some UM frat bros on Thursday college nights, but the $3 bottled beer specials are worth it. The home of the fish taco also offers specials on the weekends. Grab a few $3.75 bloody marys on Saturdays and Sundays, or bring your paycheck stub in on Sundays to get 50 percent off your tab.

When you're looking for the velvet-rope experience without the South Beach parking hassle, Justin's Bar & Lounge has you covered. Promoted on Power 96 and El Zol 95, the club celebrates house, salsa, merengue, bachata, Top 40, hip-hop, and sports. The place offers ice-cold mojitos, a burning-hot dance floor, and VIP tables for very special bottle service (with $150 Grey Goose and Johnny Walker Black bottles). On weeknights, you can shoot a game of stick at the pool table, enjoy two-for-one drinks from 7 to 10 p.m., and get in with no cover charge. On Fridays and Saturdays, ladies enter free till midnight, dudes get in for $10 to $20, and the joint is packed with sexy Latinas, exotic Russian beauties, hombres, and Israeli playboys. Whether it's DJ Dudu, Berdugo, Empire, or E-Feezy on the decks, the music bangs, the people dance, and the liquor flows. Now that's what we call boozin'.

From the moment you buy your first brew, you half expect the other beer guzzlers to start chanting, "Chug, chug, chug, chug!" Owned by former Miami Hurricanes quarterback Craig Erickson, Hole in the Wall is a no-frills joint reminiscent of a college fraternity house's rec room. The décor consists of wood stools, benches, flat-screen TV sets, and a Galaga arcade game. There are also a couple of tables outside the entrance. Hole in the Wall is the spot to drink beer &mdash and not any of those fancy microbrews either. Here, it's a steady stream of PBR, Budweiser, Miller Lite, and Yuengling. But connoisseurs can still get Guinness or Grolsch. The prices are hard to beat. Domestics run from $1.50 to $4 a glass, while imports go for $3.50 to $6. And you're gonna need a lot of cold lagers or ales to wash down the scrumptious chicken wings doused in Frank's RedHot sauce. A ten-wing platter costs $9. Or pig out on a 50-wing platter for $45 while watching the game with your friends. Hole in the Wall is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

It was after midnight on a recent Saturday when we found ourselves playing some eight ball and knocking back shots of Jägermeister as White Snake's "Here I Go Again" bumped through the loudspeakers. Cigarette smoke wafted through the Billiard Club, a strip-mall bar and sports lounge that has been happily serving the hard-working, hard-drinking middle-class residents of Miami Lakes, west Hialeah, and Hialeah Gardens for the past 13 years. The vibe is so chill you won't be surprised when you strike up a friendly conversation with owner Peter Tesser and he rewards you and your party with a round of drinks. He's the type of guy who wants all of his customers to feel like they are visiting a relative's house to watch the big game or fight. Flat-screens hanging at the main bar and over the pool tables show pay-per-view sporting events every weekend with little or no cover charge. Drinks are moderately priced. A glass or bottle of beer won't cost you more than $6, and a stiff drink will set you back no more than $10. A full-service kitchen cooks up popular bar food items plus burgers, chicken wings, and a New York strip steak that'll melt in your mouth. The Billiard Club opens at 4 p.m. daily. Last call is at 3 a.m. on weekdays and 4 a.m. on weekends.

When Miami Ink's celebrity tattoo artists Ami James and Chris Nuñez opened a lounge, we figured we would either love it or hate it. Which is kind of the idea at Love/Hate. There's certainly no indifference toward the tattoo-inspired art lurking in every shadow, the leatherette banquettes, the stripper pole in the corner of the room, or the homage to motorcycle culture. Indeed, this tiny lounge feels like a motorcycle dive bar that suddenly came into an inheritance. Like a relationship that alternates between extremes, Love/Hate changes during the night. In the evenings, the atmosphere is laid-back with tastefully inked men and women drinking bourbons and beer. As the night progresses toward dawn, the vibe turns club-like, with local DJs spinning hip-hop and house music. Because there's no cover or velvet rope, the atmosphere reeks of easygoing fun. We're not sure, but Love/Hate might have an invisible force field that repels the douchier element of SoBe nightlife.

We have two words for you: alcohol and alligators. Sounds like a recipe for a good time, doesn't it? This corner joint in historic downtown Homestead is the most happening spot in the city, and with good reason. First, there's cheap alcohol. We don't remember much from the few (um, maybe several) times we've been to Stick & Stein Sports Rock Cafe, but we do recall picking up a couple of shots and beers for less than $15 and a pitcher of domestic beer for only $8.50. Second, there's a tank of live alligators watching your every move. OK, maybe not watching as much as floating around looking awesome. Third, the varied jukebox selection reflects the diversified clientele choose from tunes by the likes of Lil Wayne, Pink, Santana, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Fourth, play some pool on regulation-size tables, or stroll through the connecting passageway to the Fat Monkey Bar for some karaoke. Fifth, there's no dress code and no cover charge, plus there's free parking. And finally, if you get a bit sloshed, sober up with some pretty decent bar food, served late. After visiting Stick & Stein, you might start thinking there's no place like Homestead.

Like a cocktail, there's a recipe for making the perfect bartender: Mix one part mad scientist, one part psychiatrist, and one part artist and serve with a side of humor. Gabriel Orta fits the recipe exactly. One-half of the team that started the recently closed pop-up, Broken Shaker (the other half is Elad Zvi), Orta doesn't just make cocktails. He lives them. Like Willy Wonka in the chocolate factory, Orta has a sense of wonderment and glee in his eyes when he mixes a drink. Every ingredient is a potential component of the next perfect libation &mdash fresh rosemary, apples, bourbon. When you're at Orta's bar, there's a feeling you're about to be handed something you've never tasted before, something new. Even an old-fashioned gets jazzed up with custom-made ice, fresh herbs snipped straight from his garden, and a slice of fragrant orange peeled before your eyes. The result is a drink that's crafted, not simply mixed. We believe him when he tells us not to order our usual rum and Coke or that he's made our margarita with jalapeño-infused tequila. He doesn't just make the drink he is the drink. Orta is summering in New York City but plans to open a permanent bar in Miami Beach this fall.

Buying pants is such a mission, you guys. Dios mío, ayúdame. It's like we find one pair and they're a really chic color that we just totally saw in Vogue, but then they make our butt look big, and not even in a good, Jennifer Lopez kind of way. Then we find a pair that makes our legs look like they've achieved supermodel status, but they have these ridiculously outdated cargo pockets. It's a nightmare, which is why we don't understand why more people don't drink at malls. Of course, then we realize that the bar selection at most malls stinks. Thank heaven Aventura Mall is home to Grill on the Alley. We mean, yeah, yeah, it's a good restaurant, but we can barely fit into the pants we're trying on anyway. Just take us straight to the bar. It's classy with an old Hollywood décor and has a damn good happy hour. We'll take an Ohrangarita followed by a vodka açaí lemonade. Then we'll try to decide on some pants.

Living in Miami sometimes feels like fighting a failing battle against collective amnesia. Every couple of months, nightclubs shut down and reopen under new names. Politicians come and go with the tide, leaving the city a bit dirtier each time. Hell, even our baseball team has a new name, stadium, and uniform. But if there's one place that we go to remember, it's the neighborhood bar. That's why there is nothing scarier to a barfly than the word renovation. Countless watering holes have closed for "renovation" only to never reopen or, worse, transmogrify into cocktail lounges full of black lights but with no draft beer. So imagine our terror when the Abbey Brewing Co. &mdash one of the only good bars in Miami Beach &mdash announced it would shut down for several months beginning last September. Thank Bacchus that when the place finally reopened this February, it was still recognizably the Abbey. In fact, owner Raymond Rigazio simply expanded the place. It's still a comfortable wood-lined cave where you can chat up a stranger or sip away your sorrows, but new ventilation and lighting mean it's a bit brighter and less smoky. The same laid-back bartenders still pour 13 different beers on tap, including the aptly named Immaculate IPA. But now you can actually find a place to sit. Plus there's room to throw darts without grazing customers as they pass through the doorway. So sidle up to the trusty old bar &mdash made out of a shuffleboard table &mdash or the new 14-foot bench put together with recycled Miami Dade pine, and have a drink. Each pint is a Pyrrhic victory over the powers of forgetfulness.


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Tattooed and bubbly bartender Tee Morales kept our drinks coming as more and more customers flowed in, most of them a little younger than at neighborhood bars I frequent. There were a couple of old-timers in the back, but the majority of folks looked to be in their twenties and thirties. Since Amanda and Nick Lewis took over the tavern last July, the demographic has changed from what was once primarily bikers, though the joint is still biker-friendly. Amanda, who arrived at the bar shortly after we did, explained that she and Nick have never owned this type of bar but have been in the party limo business and also briefly owned Up in Smoke Hookah Lounge.

The Lewises are slowly renovating the place, with plans to continue upgrading the barroom, revamping the kitchen and adding a wood-burning pizza oven. New wood floors have already replaced sticky carpet, corrugated steel adds accents around the bar, and black-and-white photos of musicians (including Elvis, LL Cool J and Prince) grace the bar and tabletops. It's obvious that there's a concerted effort to spiff up the place it's just not complete. Some of Amanda's latest touches even seem designed for social media there's a set of metal letters spelling "Bottoms Up" on the back wall that would make a perfect backdrop for posing with your friends.

The remodel of the main barroom is mostly complete, though an aquarium against the back wall is a holdover from the previous owner. (The tank could use a little TLC, but I'm glad it's there, since fish tanks are one of my favorite neighborhood bar features.) Two side rooms with lounge furniture and billiards, darts, giant Jenga and a few arcade games &mdash Big Buck Hunter and a boxing game with a real punching bag &mdash add additional seating, along with a patio hidden from street view at the back of the building.

Morales and Lewis filled me in on other weekly happenings, including half-price drinks during "Monday Madness," two-for-one drinks and dollar tacos on Tuesdays, and "Bad Bingo," complete with naughty prizes, on Wednesdays. Thursday is poker night, and DJs come in every Friday and Saturday night spinning old- and new-school hip-hop, plus whatever else makes you want to dance. Sundays are not to be forgotten, with a bottomless-mimosa brunch that serves meats smoked out back. The Lewises also plan to get back into the hookah game with some vapor hookah options (a clean and modern version of the smoky classic).

As this former biker haunt transitions to a cleaner, friendlier spot for both millennials and old-timers, the Bonfire Tavern remains a neighborhood spot to watch in south Lakewood.

The Bonfire Tavern is located at 7576 West Jewell Avenue in Lakewood and is open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Friday and 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information, call 303-989-2577 or visit the bar's Facebook page.

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Restaurants

The Farmhouse Group family of restaurants supports the development of local food systems by offering inspired dining experiences in our community. Depending on the season, about 2/3rds to 3/4ths of our food dollar is spent on food grown, raised, and produced here in Vermont. With the belief that great food is grown in the field and enhanced in the kitchen&mdashall of our preparations are simple and elegant, allowing each ingredient to shine on its own. Enjoy!

Award winning farm-to-table gastropub serving local burgers, charcuterie, cheeses, and locally inspired specials. Highly prized beers from Vermont's backyard and beyond. Full menu also available in our two bar spaces - The Parlor (speakeasy) and seasonal Beer Garden.

Taqueria and Cantina with two locations. "West Side" downtown Burlington, and "East Side" on the Winooski roundabout. Farm-To-Taco menu of tacos, burritos, and awesome house Margaritas. Cortijo take out rocks too. Order online.

A classy Tavern featuring Chef Phillip Clayton's cuisine and awesome craft cocktails. Classic steakhouse entrees from the wood burning grill. Casual fare of local burgers and entrée salads available everywhere. Celebrated craft cocktail program and award winning wine list. Private dining room is great for bringing family & friends together.

Handmade Italian cuisine on the Church Street Marketplace. Fresh pasta, pizza from our wood-fired oven, house salumi, Northeast seafood. Awesome wine list celebrates the subtle and complex wines of Piemonte, the bold beauties of Italy&rsquos Southern regions, and everything in between. House cocktails are terrific.

Private Dining Rooms available at The Farmhouse Tap & Grill, Guild Tavern, and Pascolo Ristorante. Cocktail parties, Birthday celebrations, and Corporate Events. Book a space today.


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