Experiencing Wylde Works

Zack Garhart
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Experiencing Wylde Works is one of the top things to do on your next visit to Santa Barbara

Stroll down State Street in downtown Santa Barbara and odds are you’ll be pulled into Wylde Works by some sight or sound. The storefront doubles as a cafe and tasting room for all things honey-based. From kombucha to hard jun, Wylde Works offers an array of different beverages suited for different palates and desires.

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A Bohemian Vibe

The space itself is open and welcoming, with art of all sizes and types strung about the walls and different types of seating throughout. From the big leather couch to the carpeted stage that sits near the center of the tasting room, there are different ways to relax and enjoy the space while you sip on something sweet or chow down on a soft pretzel.

Unique to Santa Barbara, and especially State Street, the vibe at Wylde Works is what brings a lot of people back. From all different ages and walks of life, you’ll find people hanging out together and interacting in the space. Especially during their open mic events, it’s not uncommon to see two people squaring off in a game of chess and others waiting in line to play. When you’re strolling through the space, keep an eye out for Sydney Wylde’s art that is hung along the wall.

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A Sweet Beginning

Owners Dylan and Sydney Wylde first met at a coffee shop, so naturally, the progression of beverage tasting room into a coffee shop was bound to occur. It took a few years, but Wylde Works has recently opened up its space as a place for folks to come by and enjoy coffee beverages and local pastries. Their hours now run throughout the day, starting at 8 am and closing at 11 pm.

Having opened its doors in 2020, Wylde Works has seen its following grow and the audience for their live events continually expand, as well. For Dylan, it’s the sense of community that comes from having such a space that has inspired him to mold Wylde Works into what it is now.

“Not only from Santa Barbara, but people will come from down all over just to check out our open mics and live music nights. It’s become the heart of the arts on the Central Coast,” says Dylan. Having spent years of his life traveling the world, writing and putting on plays, the spirit of an artist has never escaped him. Part of having a space where people can share their own work is one of the things he says makes the open mic events so unique and special.

“Self-expression is so important. The hearts of people really come out (when they’re up there). And everyone has it in them, they all have something they want to let out,” says Dylan.

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Photo courtesy of Wylde Works

The Mic is Hot

Every weekend different bands perform at Wylde Works. Their events calendar keeps up-to-date information on the artists and the time of each performance. Stepping foot into the space on a Friday or Saturday means you’ll be hit with a wave of sounds and vibrations. The place gets so jumping that more often than not, guests spill out onto the sidewalk as they mingle and enjoy their beverages. It’s hard for people passing by not to get pulled in, themselves, since there are few spaces in town like this one.

For the open mics, it’s best to arrive early. If you’re looking to read poetry or perform a song, the list is long but the wait is worthwhile. At Wylde Works, you’ll find a grand piano as well as a microphone and equipment to set up your own instrument. The open mic nights are every Tuesday, and they start at 7 pm.

Experiencing Wylde Works is an essential part of experiencing Santa Barbara. On your visit to town, make sure to swing by for a night of live music, or one of those crafted honey concoctions.

Curious about what a night of music looks like at Wylde Works? Watch this video!

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