Seth Balliett and Katie Abbott set out to create a place that was “different from anything you might expect.”
“We wanted you to be able to walk in on a snowy Thursday and feel like you’re miles away,” he said. “You would see surf movies on the TV, hear live music and maybe play a round of shuffleboard — with one hand free to hold a beer.”
Judging by that rubric, Woodhull Public House, Balliett’s brand new Yarmouth bar, is already a success.
I visited on a snowy Thursday night (just like Balliett wanted), just one week after the bar opened its doors. At first, I was a little puzzled by the tropically-themed watering hole, with its azure-painted walls and taco-based menu. But after a few sips of my tequila cocktail, I started leaning into the breezy vibes.
Plus, a swordfish taco, served on a handmade corn tortilla, helped quell my hunger pangs and quiet any questions I might have about such a summery spot opening in the dead of winter.
Balliett said the décor, menu and overall aesthetic is “largely influenced by having lived in Los Angeles for a little while and traveling to Baja a few times a year.
“One of the most important things about Woodhull is that we’ve got house-made corn tortillas. Those take me back to being in Baja. I’d surf all day, get out of the water, eat five or six tacos and maybe drink some tequila.”
If you’re thinking that sounds like heaven — particularly after a dark, cold week — join the club.
And at Woodhull you can. Behind the bar, rows of ceramic mugs hang from hooks, promising patrons that they, too, can join the ranks of Woodhull regulars. It’s a nice touch, but not as nice as the 12-foot-long shuffleboard table, which saw near constant use during my two-hour visit.
Overall, Woodhull is a chill hangout in a town that needs more casual dining spots. The food is fresh and tasty (I loved my taco and enjoyed an appetizer of Asian-style fresh rolls), and the drinks are equally on point. It’s too early to tell whether Woodhull will stick around for the long haul, but Balliett is already planning trivia nights, live music, weekday (and weekend late-night) happy hours and, as Balliett humbly put it, “daily improvements.”
“We really just wanted to create a place that wasn’t a sports bar or wasn’t too high-end,” he says. “We knew that if we didn’t open a place like that, we would end up becoming regulars at whatever popped up, and we’d end up kicking ourselves.”
Like their superb tacos, that’s a low-key recipe for success.
WHERE: 30 Forest Falls Drive, Yarmouth
HOURS: 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday.
AMENITIES: Shuffleboard table, specialty cocktails, good hot sauce options on every table, television that plays vintage ski and surf films. To come: live music, Wednesday night trivia and happy hour specials.
BOTTOM LINE: A bright, happy spot located off the beaten path in Yarmouth, this newcomer to the scene is worth watching. The menu features fresh, casual fare inspired by the owner’s travels, specialty cocktails and a wide range of beers, both domestic and imported. Good for a date or a casual meet-up with friends.
WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE: Yes