fbpx

Wishful Drinking

On a recent Friday afternoon, a few minutes shy of noon, Joe Valko jumped away from a high-top table and made his way behind The Wishing Well’s bar, raving about the green tea shots.

“This is the best part of owning a bar,” he says. “Drinks are on the house.”

This is the enthusiastic, anything-goes attitude that, last September, led him and his wife, Lisa, to become co-owners of The Wishing Well, a staple of Royal Palm Place on Mizner Boulevard. The Parkland couple had never owned a bar and never intended to, but one great night at the Irish pub with a few friends from the Berman Law Group was all it took.

The group of five, known as the Berman Team, saw a great business with untapped potential. The 16-year-old joint, with whiskey bottle-lined walls, wood accents and a full-size well at its core, had a rowdy reputation but was beloved by regulars for its homey vibe and lengthy happy hour, which spanned from 3 to 7 p.m. The deal was sealed in what felt like seconds.

“Normally, when we get something in our heads, we make it happen,” says Lisa, an agent at Travers Miran Realty. “We’re all strong personalities. It’s hard to resist the Berman Team.”

The Wishing Well will remain a traditional Irish pub and sports bar, “but with a more upscale feel … a little flair,” she says. Early on, the group divided the one bar into three: an upstairs lounge for private parties (and future whiskey tastings); inside for happy hour, food and live music; and an outside bar that skews a little younger, equipped with big screen TVs and a DJ.

“It’s just the place you can come to and get anything, from your cosmopolitan to your favorite Irish beers. It’s got something for everyone,” Joe says.

The aforementioned green tea shots, a mixture of Jameson Irish Whiskey, peach schnapps and sour mix, is one of the most popular drinks and the couple’s current favorite. They recently hired a new head chef, a true Irishman, to create a Celtic-fusion menu (“bar food with flair”) served until 2 a.m. There’s also an “Eggg Slut” brunch every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring an elaborate bottomless bloody mary bar.

The pub holds 350 people, and there are talks of moving in next door to expand the upstairs lounge. “We have to,” Lisa says. “It’s getting very, very packed here.”

The couple is pleased with but not surprised by the early success. Joe likens the atmosphere to the bar in the sitcom “Cheers”—an “everybody knows your name” vibe. “It’s a nice feeling when you come in and see the owners, and we’re talking and buying a round of drinks for our regulars. If you come here, you’re going to see people you know—and you’re going to meet a lot of people.”

A giant kraken is now affixed to the wall above the bar to represent a partnership with Kraken rum, and more enhancements are in the works.

However, locals won’t lose the iconic wishing well. It’ll become more interactive with tokens and prizes, but “we’re not going to get rid of it,” Lisa promises.

You May Also Like

Luxurious Lunch at Sexy Fish Miami: A Perfect Opportunity for Diners to Indulge

Sometimes, it can’t be “just lunch,” a meal that is sometimes rushed and not truly savored. At times, these dining moments are meant to be celebrated with something a bit different that stands out and delivers a true gastronomic experience. The food at Sexy Fish Miami not only treats your taste buds right but offers

MisterO1 Pizza Signs Lease for Downtown Doral Location

Floridian First Realty brokered the deal. 

Acclaimed Chef Pushkar Marathe’s Stage Kitchen & Bar Signs Lease at Restaurant Row in Boca Raton

The 2023 James Beard Award nominee’s concept will occupy the last available space within the development.

The Salty and Jimmy Butler Form All-Star Collaboration

Proceeds will benefit Project Backboard, which focuses on revitalizing public basketball courts and incorporating site-specific art installations.

Other Posts

4 Rivers Smokehouse Launches E-Commerce Site for BBQ Enthusiasts

The authentic Southern-style barbecue concept has a restaurant in Coral Springs.

Sexy Fish Brunch: Dine Like Royalty

When we think of brunch, we envision a leisurely meal with friends and loved ones. One where we can enjoy breakfast or lunch food while indulging in a few cocktails or nonstop bottomless Mimosas and Bloody Marys. It’s a great time, one full of affordable options, at times with DJs bringing some energy to the

Upscale Bruch Dining: A Luxurious Dine at the Loews Coral Gables

Nestled downstairs past the elegant lobby of the Loews Coral Gables, Americana Kitchen is a restaurant that not only offers elegant and refined lunch and dinner options. They also offer an upscale brunch meant for those who want a unique menu filled with delicious specialties perfectly prepped by expert chefs. Known as a true Americana

Mitch’s Downtown Bagel Cafe Expands to Hallandale Beach

The eatery offers a modern twist on the traditional New York deli.