Wood Tavern, one of the earliest establishments in Wynwood, has closed once again.
Since its opening, the restaurant has closed twice. The restaurant’s two siblings are also closing their doors this time around. The late-night bar that was loved by many announced its first closure in March of 2021, citing the steadily rising rent prices, fewer guests due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the restrictions on seats and lack of space.
The CEO of the company noted that “From a business standpoint, it was very black and white. “The numbers no longer worked” when speaking with the Miami Herald to justify his decision to shut down the company
The Wood Tavern was reopened a few months later in Alex’s other bar, Pizza and Beer. Now, in the wake of both venues announcing their closure on the same day, the owner confirmed on his social media that a third bar, Las Rosas in Allapattah, will also be shutting up shop.
Alex Morales, the Founder of the Miami-based group of Restaurants and Bars, blames a perfect storm of events as to why he has been forced to close his venues. His story contains high-interest loans that he was trying to balance and increased rents that have not been adjusted in years.
He said that he was very over-leveraged. Since the Pandemic, he has been in survival mode and had to make some decisions. The recent scare of a tropical storm not too long ago was a bit troubling for businesses. When he realized that he would not be able to afford to pay for the salary of his employees, he knew that he had to close at least some of his venues.
A more pressing issue that caused the aforementioned to close was the space they occupied. The 20,000-square-foot area that housed Pizza and Beer, as well as Wood Tavern, was far too large for the business. The business was using 12,000 square feet of space and Morales was paying for the full 20,000 square feet. He attempted to sublet the property but had no luck. Six months ago the rent on the property also rose 64%.
The Las Rosas bar was very special to him, according to Morales but sales just never returned to what they were pre-pandemic. The building that houses Las Rosas restaurant has been recently purchased by a local real estate developer. The building and nine other properties were purchased for a total of $16 million
Tayrona and Miami Mojito Company will remain open. It has been confirmed by the company that Miami Mojito Company has always been a profitable venture and often carries other business ventures. And Tayrona is also doing well with its lower rent making it a very affordable property to keep open when other, higher-rent places were not.
Wood Tavern first opened its doors in late 2011 and was soon joined by other local businesses which helped to generate the first interest in Wynwood as a destination for locals and tourists. Although Wynwood Kitchen has closed as well, Panther Coffee remains one of the businesses in this area that continues to attract locals and tourists alike.
Morales blames himself for his business’ demise, however, he does believe that gentrification in the Wynwood neighborhood influenced his decision to close up shop.
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