Woohoo! We’re excited to get the news that Woody’s will be re-opening this fall. The name is changing slightly. Woody’s West End Tavern is now Woody’s Backyard Grill. But the new owner promises it’s going to be a very fun and family friendly environment for everyone to enjoy.
BRIEF HISTORY OF WOODY’S
I know lots of folks have memories of the the bar that existed before it was converted to Woody’s West End Tavern. I used to go there from time to time as I used to live just a couple blocks away on Hough Drive. Back in those days, it was a smoke filled bar with a pool table that felt perfectly suited to welcome in a biker gang. It didn’t have the outdoor patio or dozens of TVs. And it was far from family friendly. I wouldn’t bring my wife there, but I did go for takeout and had some amazing takeout ribs that were spectacular.
ENTER FRED SUCO
Fred Suco, the retired Police Detective, invested his money into the restaurant with a grand vision for what was then a tiny hole in the wall dive bar. And boy did he succeed. He turned the old bar into a delightfully entertaining place with a wonderful outdoor patio and a much improved interior. A place you could take your kids after a soccer game or hang out with friends to watch the Dolphins or the Hurricanes. And Suco added a stage with live entertainment that kept the place happening on Friday and Saturday nights. We loved it.
And the residents of Miami Springs loved it, too. Woodys was ranked in the top 10 places to eat in Miami Springs in our 2018 ranking.
As many know, Fred Suco had an accident that left him paralyzed. As a result, he sold the business and moved with his wife to be able to take care of his health. Today, Fred lives with his wife in beautiful Raleigh, North Carolina.
Local businessman, Tom Fuhrman, purchased Woodys West End Tavern on July 27, 2018, for $1.195 million. Woodys continued to operate as it did before with live entertainment on weekends and sports entertainment on the TVs. However, right before COVID-19 was about to hit, Woody’s was placed for sale again…
…And then COVID-19 hit with lockdowns and shutdowns.
WOODY’S BACKYARD GRILL
Woody’s has remained closed, but will reopen this fall as Woodys has been purchased by local resident and banker, Oscar Mendez. But as he confided in us, he’s really a foodie at heart. And Oscar has a great vision to bring the fun back to Woodys and make it even better than ever.
Now, for anyone that’s been to Woody’s in the past on a packed night, you knew you were going to wait a while for meals. And that was fine because usually everyone was having drinks and having a great time. But Oscar has addressed this shortcoming by expanding the capacity in the kitchen to be able to cook more of the great food at the same time. Translation, faster service is coming.
COME AS YOU ARE
Woody’s Backyard Grill is going to be laid back like you’re in the Keys. “It’s going to be a cool / chill vibe,” said Oscar. Come as you are. As Oscar said, you’re welcome to come in with “shirts and chancletas.”
BRING THE KIDS
Oscar, who’s a father of two teenagers, understands that it can be a challenge to go to dinner where everyone in the family likes something on the menu. The new menu promises to have meals that are equally appetizing for hungry adults and picky kids. Plus, he’s adding some outdoor games for the kids to enjoy while mom and dad start off with some drinks.
While Woodys has had plenty of TVs, Oscar is upgrading with some bigger TVs both inside and outside to let the main game take center stage and truly be enjoyable for everyone. We’re talking big 65″ TV’s and even an 82″ screen. It’s going to be a great place to kickback and watch a game with friends while putting down a cold one.
Woodys is going to be rocking again with live entertainment. Popular acts like Barefoot Jax will be back at Woodys letting everyone enjoy the less humid fall and winter weather we’ll be enjoying soon.
Woodys Backyard Grill will be opening soon and we can’t wait to try it.
When’s it officially opening up?
Oscar says they’re shooting for a grand opening date of November 13, 2021. But as you know, many places open up a few days earlier as a soft opening to work out some of the practical kinks.
Are you ready to try Woodys Backyard Grill? It’s less than a month away. We can’t wait to see all the new renovations and try out the new kitchen.
See you there very soon!
Thank you for your prompt response. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but understand you did a write a piece that seems to put down the original establishment…..making reference that it was a smoke filled bar waiting for a biker gang to show up is just false. Florida banned smoking in establishments in 2002. Perhaps your memories are from before that time, which the bar was under another name, Murphy’s, and under another owner. My point being, it seems you relished in the times when the establishment was Woody’s West End Tavern, and that is fine. Fred did do an amazing renovation job on the place. But also when he did, alot was lost. The quaint blue collar bar lost it’s charm. The Woody’s Tavern, the original was named after the owner’s beloved dog who passed away too soon. His photo hung behind the bar. To try and dismiss it as some 3rd rate dive is unfair. The Levenson’s created a bar where people remember great times that were had, by some sadly who are no longer with us. Those regulars made that place special, and I hope they return. We can only wait and see what the new owners have developed, and I wish them well….but the blue collar bar the was beloved is no more, that left the day Woody’s played their last Patsy Cline closing song….thank you Liz and Greg for the memories.
The original Woodys owned by the Levensons was a real bar. It was nice. Pool table, High Tops and a Jukebox. Personally I liked it better. You go out to the bar for a few ours to let loose. No work stress, no kids, just beers and friends. Way more fun in my opinion.
Your description of the real Woodys was very disrespectful and unfair. Not to mention you are comparing apples to oranges, bar to restaurant. I am a foodie and there are way better restaurants with way better food to eat and have all the same things as this new Woodys restaurant does.
Thank you for your feedback.
This is no disrespect to the people who ran it before Fred. 100% it was a bar scene.
I used to live just a couple of blocks away so it was very convenient. Before Fred renovated the place, it was very different. Here’s what I remember: (1) The employees were always friendly. (2) It was smoke filled. (3) it was dark and didn’t have the family friendly vibe that was created when Fred redid the whole place. (4) The ribs were great. (5) I never took my wife there as I know that was not the type of atmosphere she would have enjoyed. (6) I’d order ribs to go and we’d enjoy them at home.
I don’t expect everyone to share in my opinion. But all I can promise is that my opinions are honest and straightforward.
Again. Thanks for the feedback.
Prior to Woody’s West End Tavern, the bar was simply Woody’s. A bar beloved by many and enjoyed by the community. It was a local watering hole for many alike, during the day plenty of families came in to eat lunch without issue, but at the end of the day, it was a bar. As any responsible adult would agree, a bar at night time is not a place for any child. Perhaps if you did not frequent the establishment, you should not have judged or cast a stone of those who did, maybe even give credit to the name of the establishment who owned the business before.
Thanks for the feedback. As I said, I did go into the bar a couple of times. Every time I went it was at night. I never went for lunch because I didn’t work close by at the time. I can only speak for the ambiance I saw on the few times I went there before Fred bought it. (1) The employees were always friendly. (2) It was smoke filled. (3) it was dark and didn’t have the family friendly vibe that was created when Fred redid the whole place. (4) The ribs were great. (5) I never took my wife there as I know that was not the type of atmosphere she would have enjoyed.
I don’t expect everyone to share in my opinion. But people should know that my opinions are honest and straightforward.
Again. Thanks for the feedback.