By: Marisa Herman Associate Editor
After spending a year gutting and remodeling the space that many Boca residents knew as “Neighborhood Sports Bar & Grill,” Crazy Uncle Mike’s is slated to open later this month.
With an industrial shabby yet chic, welcoming vibe, the 9,000-square-foot establishment at 6450 North Federal Highway has been revamped with a steam-powered brewhouse, full-service scratch kitchen and state-of-the-art stage.
The bar is made out of wood that Michael Goodwin, also known as Crazy Uncle Mike, salvaged after Hurricane Irma. The lamp fixtures are barrels that pay homage to different musicians and music genres with monkey faces painted on recognizable artists.
“Because you put monkeys in a barrel, not people,” Goodwin said.
More than half of the building is patio space where brew lovers can try a creation by Brewmaster Corey Wilson or grab a meal created by Executive Chef Tara Abrams when the weather cooperates.
“We are purveyors of fun,” Goodwin said. “We want you to walk out of here with a smile on your face. Good is not enough. Outstanding is what we are going for.”
Goodwin is no stranger to the restaurant business. He has owned and operated many over the past few decades. He also worked in commercial real estate dealing with finding restaurants homes and worked for Hard Rock.
When he was living in Punta Cana working for Hard Rock he moved his family to Florida to be closer to them. But realizing it was still far, he changed his career and found something to do where his family was located. That something was Crazy Uncle Mike’s.
After some research, he landed on the idea of a brewery concept. One that is comfortable for groups of friends who like craft beers and also one that has something for the whole family during the day.
The name came from Goodwin’s nickname. His 22 nieces and nephews dubbed him Crazy Uncle Mike years ago when he had a long ponytail, managed punk rock groups and would show up places on his Harley Davidson. The name stuck and wherever he has worked, employees and colleagues just called him Uncle Mike.
It’s the familiar vibe that Goodwin is going for in his newest concept. He hopes to attract locals who can bicycle over after work for a cold one or families who live in the area. The menu will focus on local, seasonal offerings and the brews will work with other local brewhouses to come up with new concoctions.
There will always be music playing whether it is live on the custom stage, which has sound abatement features to keep the neighbors happy, or just through the sound system. Goodwin said there will be live music at different times so you never know when you may experience a live jam out session.
Brewmaster Wilson has created flavorful brews before including a Buddhas Hand & Yuzu Wit style ale and a Café con Leche stout. He has worked with multiple award-winning breweries including Copperpoint Brewing Company in Boynton Beach and GABF gold medalist Copper Kettle Brewery in Denver.
Executive Chef Tara Abrams will be responsible for creating dishes that pair with the brews. She said the menu is not limited to any genre and she will touch on items from around the world with a global cuisine.
Signature menu items will include: Purple Potato Skins with bacon, sundried tomato, crème fraiche, salmon roe; Rock Shrimp Flatbread with manchego cheese, lemon zest, arugula, EVOO and maldon sea salt; Pork Belly Tacos with kung pao glaze, pickled slaw, cucumbers, cilantro and sesame seeds; Veggie Taco-Elotes with cauliflower, black beans, pickled onions, corn-avocado relish, cotija cheese and toasted pepitas; and Grilled Flat Iron Steak with yucca mash, chili rubbed baby carrots and chimichurri. Following suit with Crazy Uncle Mike’s relaxed and no rules vibe, there will also be a selection of Brinner (breakfast for dinner) dishes.
The restaurant will be open for lunch, dinner and later on weekend brunch.