Your Best Nights Begin Here
Tour Wynwood with Juliette Saputo
The Best Nights section will take you on a local’s tour through the eyes and personal experiences of artists, photographers, bloggers, musicians, etc., showcased in a different city every month. In December, we tour Wynwood, Miami, FL, with Juliette Saputo, and she shows us how to have the best nights of our lives in her favorite neighborhood.
Please scroll down to meet and take a tour with Juliette.
Tour of Wynwood, Miami, FL
Juliette, thank you for joining us for the Miami edition of Behind the Shot. You were born and raised in South Florida and now run an iconic bar in Wynwood. How did you get your start in the Hospitality Industry?
The hospitality industry is all I’ve ever known. I started working as a hostess in a sports bar & grill in Fort Lauderdale when I was 15 years old and worked my way through the ranks from food runner, server, and eventually to bartender. It was always supposed to be temporary until I figured out what I wanted to do for a career, but once I was behind the stick, I recognized how much I loved the industry and whether it was “part of the plan” or not, this was going to be my career, and I’ve never looked back.
You’re very involved in the local industry community and sit on the USBG Miami board. Miami is known as a close, tight-knit community. What makes Miami’s industry community so special?
Miami’s industry community is exceptional. It’s the most active and supportive local community I’ve experienced and from what I hear, what we have here is really rare. I think part of what makes our industry community so special is also part of what makes Miami itself unique. Born and raised locals like me are a rarity in our city. People from all over The States and worldwide end up down here. In Miami, especially in the hospitality industry, being welcoming to everyone is just part of what we do. The industry here is so tight and supportive. We all want to see each other succeed and represent what Miami is about. With the mix of all the different cultures here, everyone has something distinct and exciting to bring to the table. We want everyone to feel like they belong here because they do!
How do you balance running your bar program and being involved in the greater community growth?
Honestly, that’s a thin line that I’m only just beginning to walk on. I think, as for most things, it’s mostly about setting boundaries, being honest with yourself and others about your limits, and knowing when to say no. Another one that has always been easier said than done for me is not being afraid to ask for help when needed. Most of the time, some people are eager to help you, and sometimes you have to let them. Asking for help isn’t a weakness; no one will think any less of you.
You run a well-known bar in Wynwood going on its tenth anniversary. Wynwood is known as a great neighborhood full of diversity and creativity. As one of the first venues in the area, how has the neighborhood changed? What are some of the changes happening in the city?
Wynwood now and Wynwood, even just a couple of years ago, are two totally different beasts. When I started working in the neighborhood seven years ago, most of these buildings didn’t even exist. It’s been insane watching how quickly things have changed, and buildings have gone up. Since the pandemic, people have been moving to Miami in droves. Wynwood was never much of a residential area, but many of the new buildings are apartments. I guess all these newcomers have to live somewhere, right? It’s been remarkable that there is a lot of foot traffic for bars, restaurants, and shops, but Wynwood used to be “The Arts District” full of art galleries. Many have closed to make room for more high-end retail and F&B space. I’m curious to see what the neighborhood will morph into as time passes.
Your bar is known as an establishment full of diversity and something for everyone. Can you tell us about your crowd and how vital the diverse atmosphere is for your guests?
Our bar is a testament to what Wynwood used to be and what it will always stand for in my mind. Wynwood is weird, and so are we. It’s essential for us to provide a place for the weirdos, the outcasts, the locals, and tourists alike. There’s always something going on at our bar, but I can promise you it won’t be the same as what’s happening in the rest of the neighborhood. You can find something here: drag shows, live music of every genre, karaoke, vinyl djs, no matter who you are or what you’re into. When people ask me about my bar, my favorite example is the night a few years ago when we hosted a death metal concert in our back theater room and a drag show on the main patio. The patrons of both activities peacefully mingled in between sets and shared a drink. That’s the kind of atmosphere you just can’t recreate.
What is your favorite drink or way to enjoy Jägermeister?
I’m easy to please. A cheap beer and a shot of Jager will do the trick any day!
What would your best day and night out be for someone visiting the city of Miami and wanting to experience all the best parts of the city but only had a day to do so? Where would someone look to stay? What neighborhoods to see? Any must-do food or drink, sights to see, or experiences only a local would recommend?
So, of course, I’ll always recommend Wynwood, especially if you’ve never been. It’s really cool just to get lost wandering around and looking at all the art on the streets. A few art galleries are worth checking out, and plenty of awesome food and drinks are all around you. If you’re heading over the bridge, I suggest you stay off the beaten path. Ocean Drive is an experience, but you’ll find all the real gems off on the side streets. There’s a great cash-only dive bar where you’ll find locals and tourists playing pool and hanging out at pretty much all hours of the day/night. No matter what neighborhood you find yourself in, talk to a bartender. Miami bartenders are proud of their city and are always excited to tell you about their favorite places!
Get To Know
I’m what I like to refer to as an industry baby; this industry raised me, it’s all I’ve ever known, and I don’t regret a minute of it! I was born and raised in South Florida, my original plan was to go to art school, but I’m not one to stick to plans. Being behind the bar allows me to express myself in ways I could never before. When you sit at my bar, I share a genuine piece of myself with you, and I hope you feel comfortable enough to do the same. I think that’s what it’s all about!