The Wayward is the brainchild of Tyler Goolie and Hilda Cardenas. Both spent about five years working behind the bar at Wren House, honing their skills and dreaming big.
“A couple of years ago we decided we wanted to do our own thing,” Goolie says. “We actually looked at some other Grand Avenue spaces about a year before ThirdSpace closed.”
The duo signed a five-year lease about a year ago, then got started on interior renovations. They’ve kept the red brick wall where works by local artists used to hang. They say they plan to bring more local art into the space. They’ve already installed two chandeliers by Mike Butzine, whose Snood City Neon shop is located nearby.
“We wanted to create a warm atmosphere that feels like home,” Cardenas says. “It’s a nearly 100-year-old building so we wanted to keep the character by exposing the old trusses and using some of the old wood to build the bar.”
They’re focusing on local beers and wines for the menu, which will include 16 beers on tap. They’ll also have a retail fridge. They won’t be serving food. Instead, they’ll let customers bring in food and arrange for food trucks to set up nearby.
The Wayward includes about 1,300 square feet of interior space, with room for about 45 customers. For now, they’ll only operate at 25 percent capacity due to COVID-19.
For now, the patio is separated from the street by a temporary orange barrier. But Goolie says the property owner is talking about eventually adding a wall there. The patio will likely seat 60 once completed.
The pair chose the name The Wayward a while back, inspired in part by the fact that they both like to do things a little differently. It’s an added bonus, they say, that they landed on a diagonal street in a town that’s primarily a grid.
“We don’t do things the normal way,” says Cardenas. “Our personalities are kind of out there.” They hope to prove that soon.