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December 1, 2009

Woody's to be open year-round, owners want input

woody's rum barIf all goes as planned, Woody's Rum Bar and Island Grill will be open year-round starting next week, according to its owners.

This week, they're installing a $10,000 heating system to the third-story watering hole located above Slainte in Fells Point. It's got one of the best views in Fells Point. Yesterday, the owners called me, asking for input.

What should they do with the space, now that it's going to be up and running in the winter? ...

If I remember correctly, they were hosting live acoustic music semi-regularly at Woody's over the summer. I don't know how successful that was, but if it brought in a decent amount of customers, I'm all for having live music one or two nights a week.

I don't know how many different types of rum Woody's offers, but rum isn't considered a wintertime drink. However, if done right, a one-off "summer in December" event would be fun. People could dress like it's hot outside, there could be tons of different warm and cold rum drinks (maybe even a rum tasting?) and such.

I like how you have to walk up three flights of stairs to get to Woody's. That means you almost have to know it's there. And the view is a nice payoff. The idea of turning it into a cozy, romantic space where people could get drinks and desserts and enjoy the view is tempting. But the low key, summertime furniture doesn't suit that scene.

What do you think?

(Photo courtesy of Woody's)


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Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:20 AM | | Comments (33)
Categories: Bars & Clubs
        

Comments

Walking *up* three flights of stairs isn't a problem, but after a rum tasting the *down* may be a quicker endeavor than anticipated.

Death metal bar.

I'm not sure what date the holiday lighted boat parade is, but they seem like the ideal spot to host an event with a perfect view for it.

Edible food would be a good start. They've never tried that at either Woody's or Slainte before.

"Death metal bar."

YES!

Go back to the original menu which was actually worth the trip. The new one is small and devoid of taste. Not dropping another dollar on that joint.

They need two drink serving sections. It's impossible to get a drink at the one bar.

And they need a new cook. The food is inedible.

I LOVE Woody's (used to be my favorite bar), but was turned off this summer after a couple of bad experiences with the food/service.

I really, REALLY hope they turn things around.

Rum, isn't considered a wintertime drink? There are more than a few winter rum drinks. Rum in eggnog, hot buttered rum, hot toddy anyone?

Sounds like the food needs an overhaul, but a rum tasting might change the writer's impression of my favorite spirit.

I actually loved the food this summer at Woody's. The fish tacos were made with "fresh" Mahi Mahi and the pork bbq was awesome. Cant beat the view of the harbor and my service was always spot on.

Well, I must say, I am really not crazy about Woody's. I've been there a few times and other than the view, I don't get what's so great about it. I couldn't get anyone to wipe off the tabe, couldn't get a drink (or a menu), not to mention, it's TINY! Call it cozy if you want, but it's tiny!! The last time we were there, we just ended up going to Slainte and had a great time (good food, good, fast service, etc.)

clearly baltimore needs a classic tiki bar. a reasonable amount of work would accomplish this at this location. then, reasonably priced cocktails of the classic tiki era with illustrated menus. include small plates (i.e. the classic "pupu platter") and live entertainment such as hula and slide guitar, and you have a winner. email me, my cohorts and i have enough experience building home tiki bars that we could hook you up.

I second the "classic" tiki bar comment. That would be great. A place like Forbidden Island in CA or Mai Kai in FL would be ideal, but Woody's probably isn't big enough for that level of detail. At the very least please remember that here's no pineapple juice in a Mai Tai!!!!

Check out www.cfcenterprises.com if you want to see a real tiki bar. They carve tiki poles with chainsaws and they are true craftsmen when it comes to bamboo. If anyone should "tikify" Woody's it should be them.

Expand! That area is just too tiny IMO

I do wish them well in improving things though because I always have a good time when I'm there.

Keep it the same for winter and advertise it that way - summer: year round. Just make sure it isn't drafty on cold, windy winter days.

here's a good example of the scale and feel of what woody's could become. the hale tiki in augusta, ga...

http://www.critiki.com/cgi-bin/pictures.cgi?loc_id=327#/images/locations/327/592_large.JPG

sadly the owner of that place did not have the critical mass of people that baltimore has to survive.

Oh how awesome a classic old school Tiki bar would be. Great drinks...great tunes...great decor. No grenadine in my Mai Tai thanks. Something along the lines of the molokai bar at the Mai Kai. I'd go to Fells Point more often.

Good drinks would be a good start. And how about not sounding like your doing me a favor by *only* charging $3.50 or whatever for a Corona?

I second the pupu-platter and better tiki food food.

For entertainment, why not complete the theme and rotate in karaoke?

We lost Washington's last great tiki bar, the Honolulu, to a highway expansion project back in 2004. I'd gladly drive the hour to Baltimore regularly, to go to a place that had the drinks, decor, and music.

There's an untapped market for this kind of place, and the people who enjoy these places are a particularly loyal bunch when they find a place worth frequenting.

how about they drive that stupid burger mobile through woody's. the hwole slainte/woody's/koopers empire is crap. the food sucks at all three places. the service is even worse. for the life of me, i cannot figure out who they pay off to get kooper's as having the best burgers in town every year. a frozen pick of tasteless meet is not a good burger. pluse, the owner has somehow knighted himself as the mayor of fells point. how about u move the stupid tables out from in front of sklainte so people can actually utilize the sidewalk.

Tiki would rawk! The mid-Atlantic could use a GOOD tiki bar, one that knew how to at least make the basic tropical cocktails properly.

I didn't know that tiki was such a specific concept. I'd be down.

I like the winter rum ideas better though. I would definitely head there for a warm drink to enjoy the view. There's no where else I can think of off the top of my head that promotes warm winter drinks (I'm sure lots of places have them) so they could fill that niche.

Definitely have to have at least one summer theme party though. Pump the heaters and offer free/discounted drinks if you're wearing a bathing suit? Halfway to 4th of July?

Also, they could promote themselves as the Baltimore Dewey Beach bar. Share houses haven't caught on here as much, but if there was a bar where the Dewey people regularly hung out and that had share house parties to meet new members and celebrate Dewey countdowns it would maybe take off more. I know there's a decent contingency of us here. Front Page is the main bar that does that in DC, I think.

Wow, I had more ideas than I realzied. This started as just a response to all the tiki comments...

Michael, Learn to spell if you want to win a war. Now you just sound like a jealous drop out.
I say Tiki bar!

A classic old school Tiki bar something like Forbidden Island or tiki ti on CA.

http://www.tiki-ti.com/pages/home.html

http://www.forbiddenislandalameda.com/fi/

Now that would be a true get away in B-more

I love Woody's as a summer bar in the summer time...how about a winter bar in the winter time!?

Maybe like one of those places that hands out eskimo outfits and has ice tables!!

I think they might have some success trying to keep the outdoor atmosphere smoker friendly and staying away from the "romantic drinks and dessert" idea.

Charles Village Pub in Towson has heat lamps in an uncovered outdoor area in the winter time, as does Hightopps in Timonium, and in my experience, a lot of smokers come out to those bars because they enjoy the convenience of being able to smoke that a lot of Maryland bars don't offer.

The romantic atmosphere would take away from that and make smokers uncomfortable in my opinion.

Whatever they do with the space, Dear God please, let them get better food. When I went there with a friend of mine to get some fish tacos they were, without a doubt, the worst fish tacos I've ever had. They were disgraceful. I love going to Woody's for the view but if they had a better menu, I'd be there for dinner AND drinks afterward.

PUT ANOTHER BAR AT THE OTHER END. Possibly Facing the water. Otherwise it is always impossible to get a drink!!!

Kateebee - Portside Tavern in Canton holds alot of Dewey Beach related events and has the Starboard VIP Card events for Baltimore as well right before the summer season kicks off. In DC, the Front Page seems to have taken over for all that but The Bottom Line is also a big Dewey bar in that area.

As for Woody's, I had a bad experience there over the summer and will never go back. They should fix food and service issues there before they worry about being a year round bar.

Sweet, thanks for the tip, luvyareada. Most of my Dewey crew is from DC so I hadn't heard about Portside being the spot up here. I will definitely keep my ear to the ground for upcoming Portside events. Need my Dewey fix!

Perhaps Woody's can team up with Nadds and develop a theme night. I'm thinking wiener and pina colada nights.

I think they should focus more on service and food as well. Typical scenario for a growing bar - throwing money at more and more sizzle and less on steak. It's already lost its charm in many ways so maybe this will work. 10K bet! Good Luck.

I have been to all three establishments and can say that they are all awesome! Woody's is so fun, especially in the winter when you're dreaming of summer! I had the best Queen Mary - with a floater of Rum on top -- I felt like I was in my native Puerto Rico. Gracias to Woody's!!!!

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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