Wynwood’s boom as an art scene over the last five years has turned the once run-down area into a destination to rival South Beach. People came for the art, and stayed for the food, drinks and laid-back vibe.
Though Wynwood’s second Saturday Art Walk is an event in and of itself, the area offers up enough entertainment for a full day out. Here, then, is a quick-hit guide to the artsy neighborhood off Northwest Second Avenue.
Gramps’ bright orange building looks more like a corner market in western Little Havana, with its bold coloring and the promise of “air conditioning,” “beer,” and “cocktails” painted across the front of the building.
Housed in an old sewing factory, Gramps has a neighborhood feel that is not always easy to come by in the dazzling, in-your-face Miami bar scene. And thought it may not feel like a Miami bar, Gramps is known for the sometimes-strange cocktails that Miami does best, like the “Cenote Sagrado,” a mix of Stone IPA, the Mexican liquor Mezcal, and a homemade brown sugar and beer syrup. Other drinks include “Rosemary’s Baby,” made with gin, a reduction of Earl Grey and rosemary, and lemon.
Gramps, 176 NW 24th St.
Tapas and tunes
The graffiti-covered Wynwood Kitchen and Bar is a testament to all things Wynwood. The tapas restaurant is lined with art, and often partners with musicians and DJs for live music. Dishes include lemon pepper calamari, shrimp tacos, vaca frita (crispy, shredded steak), and skewers. Reservations are suggested, especially on the Saturday nights of Art Walk, the second Saturday of the month.
During the week, happy hour features $2 lite bites like chicken ropa vieja empanadas, $4 mixed drinks, $5 house wines, 30 percent off all draft beers.
The restaurant will host a four-course beer-paired dinner on Oct. 17 to celebrate the official launch of Wynwood Brewing Company. The meal runs $55 per person, and reservations are required. There will be two seatings, at 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. Call 305-722-8959 to reserve.
Wynwood Kitchen and Bar, 2550 NW Second Ave.
For a break from the endless walking and Art Walk crowds, stop over for a movie at O Cinema or the newly opened Starlite Drive-In. The theaters are next door to one another on Northwest 29th Street, just east of North Miami Avenue.
O Cinema, known for its documentaries and experimental indie films, is screening two movies over the weekend. The first is Muscle Shoals, a documentary about FAME studios in Alabama, and features artists like Aretha Franklin, Bono and Mick Jagger. The other film, Escape from Tomorrowland, follows a man and his family on vacation at Disney, and his descent into a nightmare of paranoid visions and bizarre encounters.
Starlite is more family-friendly and has tables outside for people who do not want to bring their cars. The outdoor cinema will screen Back to the Future on Friday and The Goonies on Saturday.
O Cinema is at 90 NW 29th St. For information visit o-cinema.org or call 305-571-9970.
Blue Starlite is at 70 NW 29th St. For information, visit miamiurbandrivein.com.
Art walks have become a staple across South Florida, but none have been more popular than Wynwood’s monthly Art Walk. Galleries open their doors the second Saturday of each month to let visitors take a peek at new exhibitions. Food trucks gather, musicians perform and crowds swarm throughout the evening, making their way in and out of galleries.
One new exhibit this month is “Los Cupables” by Dos Alas at Gregg Shienbaum Fine Art Gallery at 2239 NW Second Ave. The pieces feature portraits of inventions, inventors and businessmen in the second Industrial Revolution, including the Model T engine, Thomas Edison and the light bulb, and John D. Rockefeller. Other exhibits include two-toned letterings from the artist Toadhouse at Gallery Diet, 174 NW 23rd St., and Aramis Gutierrez’s series “End Game Aesthetics” of oil paintings featuring dancers at Spinello Projects, 2930 NW Seventh Ave.
Guided tours are available through wynwoodartwalk.com for those who do not want to take the walk alone. Tours are available starting at $15, and reservations can be made for 6:30 or 7:45 p.m. on the website. Spots often fill up before Saturday, so it is best to make reservations early.