[image-1] Taking over the old Calder’s Pub spot, Woodward Tavern is, as owner Peter Woodman describes, hoping to be “the quintessential neighborhood bar.” With a completely updated interior and kitchen, the tavern traded the pub’s wood paneled walls for crisp, bright accents. But as a green-blooded Irishman with more than 30 restaurant openings under his belt, Woodman knows a thing or two about taverns.
You may not have noticed the new tavern located in the same shopping center as its big brother, Crave (also a Woodman joint) in the Shoppes at Seaside Farms. That might be because Woodman likes to “do things nice and slow.” With no disrespect for Calder’s, which was going steady for nearly two decades, Woodman says the place was “in bad disrepair.” “As with everything in my world, I said ‘let’s have a small budget and quick turnaround.’ That plan changed rapidly after two days,” laughs Woodman.
[image-2]Woodward — named for Charleston settler Henry Woodward, who most likely never feasted on baked mac n’ cheese — opened mid-June and serves up lower priced options (compared to Crave) like burgers, milkshakes, corn dogs, wings, and tacos.
“The menu is like a sports pub,” says Woodman. “But it’s not a sports pub … it’s the quintessential neighborhood bar, it’s somewhere I’d come myself, somewhere where you can bring the kids and have one eye on the game and one on the kid.”
Woodward seats around 60 guests and will play whatever sportsball game your heart desires on one of their 10 TVs. And they’ll make sure to keep your favorite beer on tap, too. [image-9] [image-5] “There’s an ex Air Force guy, comes into Crave twice a week, and I showed him Woodward [before it opened],” says Woodman. “He’d told me, after coming back from the UK, ‘all I want is a Speckled Hen beer, I can’t find it anywhere.’ So the other day he comes by and I say ‘hey, I have something for you.’ I had the beer — he had tears in his eyes.”
The new watering hole is drawing in plenty of Crave loyalists, like the Speckled Hen sipper, who want a more casual dining experience, but don’t want their feet to stick to the floor.
“Today there’s no middle road,” Woodman says of his experience with the restaurant industry. “It’s either hoity-toity or a dive bar. I wanted a place you could relax with your family or with a buddy.” As a customer and the guy in charge, Woodman says at the end of the day he just wants his restaurants to be a place where people can connect.
“It’s all about the guests, we’re here for the guests. There are so many cool people who come to Crave, we’ve used Crave as a kind of database,” Woodman says. “Since Woodward Tavern has opened, we’ve already taken things off and added things to the menu, we’re responding to our customers and what they want.”
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