Crazy Uncle Mike's, a brewery and restaurant featuring live music, is coming to Boca Raton.
The 9,000-square-foot complex will have a full-service kitchen, ten-barrel brewhouse, "state-of-the-art" stage, full liquor license, and indoor and outdoor seating for 200. It will also offer highway access, plenty of parking, and a patio that wraps around the entire building.
Owner Mike Goodwin plans a mid-September opening, although he says that's tentative. The veteran restaurateur hopes to draw clientele with a three-fold approach of good food, good beer, and good music.
Starting out in New Mexico, Goodwin made his way to Las Vegas, the Dominican Republic, and then South Florida, owning and operating a plethora of restaurants and clubs along the way. His experience ranges from sushi bars to running casino operations and entertainment for the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana.
Working in the restaurant industry, Goodwin says he didn't want to spend any more days away from his wife, who wanted to move to Boca Raton. They researched the location and pursued it, he said. "I think all the stars kind of lined up on this one. I also think I've had the luck and fortune. Crazy Uncle Mike's is kind of a culmination of all that."
For the beer operations, Goodwin hired Corey Wilson, a Florida-grown brewer with a knack for "culinary brewing," which Wilson describes as making brews that incorporate flavors from everyday foods. Funky Buddha Brewery makes beers similarly, he says.
The tap line will be populated by core beers such as a New Mexican lager, a session IPA, and an oatmeal stout, with plenty of collaborations planned. Wilson is working closely with 26 Degree Brewing Company in Pompano Beach and Sailfish Brewing Company in Fort Pierce.
"I focus on balance," Wilson says. "I don't want to drink a cup of syrup and call it beer."
Prior to Crazy Uncle Mike's, Wilson spent several years working at Bx Beer Depot in Lake Worth before the owner sold it and moved to Mexico. Wilson then relocated to Colorado to brew beer at Copper Kettle Brewery, later returning to Florida to consult for brewery startups. At Copper Kettle, he won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival
For the culinary operations, Goodwin brought on executive chef Tara Abrams. A Newark, New Jersey, native, Abrams moved to South Florida to attend college before gaining experience at 32 East, OTC Brickell, and multiple restaurants with the JEY Hospitality Group.
Abrams will focus on fresh, globally inspired cuisine using local ingredients. This will include fresh seafood daily. Some menu items are billed as "brinner" (breakfast for dinner) dishes. There will also be dinner pairings with wine and beers.
The biggest attraction is the music, Goodwin says, which will be showcased by a large stage and robust sound system. He'll try to avoid ticket sales and cover charges, he says.
Goodwin still has to finalize the restaurant's interior and menus. In the meantime, the venue is hiring for all positions, including prep cook, dishwasher, and bartenders.
"We put our heart into every part of it," Wilson says. "Everything should be good."
Crazy Uncle Mike's. 6450 N. Federal Hwy., Boca Raton; 561-931-2889; crazyunclemikes.com. Opening fall 2018.
Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.