If craft cocktails and social dining are what you desire, then head on over to the newly opened C.W.S. Craft Bar + Kitchen in Lake Worth brought to you 3-J Hospitality, who also owns Stache 1920’s Drinking Den in Fort Lauderdale. This bar with good food, as they like to call it, is located in the space formerly occupied by The Cottage. It combines three concepts into one — a morning coffeeshop; a laid-back beer garden with long wooden tables and occasional live music; and a sophisticated, indoor, speakeasy-type den area where guests can enjoy a full dinner menu, courtesy of Chef Jessie Steele, or imbibe in some whiskey from their large selection.

Fried Chicken Sandwich

Fried Chicken Sandwich with lemon aioli, pickles, lettuce & Kentucky bourbon. Photo Credit: Katy Lynch

Since the Florida Food & Farm office is located just one block away from this new Lake Worth hotspot, we were thrilled to receive an invitation in to get a first look at C.W.S. and welcome them into the neighborhood — and we felt right at home. Since the restaurant has become one of our new stomping grounds (yes, we can walk there), we thought that we’d share the love and give you a few reasons to check out C.W.S. right now.

Bill Binder of CWS

Bill Binder of CWS, photo credit: Katy Lynch

Bill Binder, the guy who makes drinks

He’s not a bartender, nor a mixologist, but rather the guy who makes drinks. That’s Bill Binder, the mastermind behind C.W.S.’s cocktail program, and his title, or lack there of, describes the laid-back, unpretentious nature of C.W.S.

After spending time at Soho Beach House, the Rebel House and consulting for a variety of high-end restaurants, Binder comes to C.W.S. to oversee the cocktail program. On the menu, you’ll find tried-and-true classic cocktails like a Sazerac and Side Car, along with in-house concoctions like our favorite, the Lucerne Swizzle (Appleton Estate Rum, E&J Brandy, Demerara Sugar, Fresh Mint) and others using fresh produce like the Sufferin Succotash (Fords Gin, Roasted Sweet Corn, Celery, Corn-Agave, Pressed Lime, Smoked Salt).

For those who have drank their way through the entire menu, or those feeling the need to go on the edge, check out Binder’s daily special and since he told us that he could make everyone’s poison (yes, let’s go back to your college days) palatable, you might want to put him to the test.

Lucerne Swizzle

Downtown Daiquiri (l), a specials of the night and the Lucerne Swizzle (r) Photo Credit: Katy Lynch

The Glassware 

We know it’s only glassware, but it’s amazing glassware and we’re thrilled with everything that we’ve seen so far. The CWS team wanted something unique (they are a speakeasy) so they scoured the streets and rummage sales and flea markets to discover sets of glassware that will bring you back in time — because It is all about the details.

Charred Okra

Charred Okra with roasted cashews, sriracha, maple syrup, lime, cilantro

Chef Jessie Steele

Modern American comfort food at it’s finest, that’s what you’ll find at C.W.S. where Executive Chef Jessie Steele uses his creativity to create a mouth-watering menu. Steele, who you may remember from his time spent at 3rd & 3rd, works in a scratch kitchen and uses local ingredients whenever possible. Savor the layers of flavor of the Charred Okra, our favorite dish of the night; indulge in their signature Fried Chicken Sandwich with lemon aioli, pickles, lettuce and Kentucky bourbon with Hand Cut Truffle Fries with shaved black truffle; or opt for a heartier dish like the House Made Pappardelle Pasta with Italian Sausage Ragu and whipped ricotta or the Vegan Grilled Cauliflower Steak with quinoa, confit tomatoes and almonds.

In addition to the dinner menu, C.W.S. just kicked off a Toast & Jam Sunday Brunch with unlimited mimosas and Bloody Marys.

Farro Fried Rice

Farro Fried Rice with a red curry cashew butter and shrimp. Photo Credit: Katy Lynch

Live Entertainment

C.W.S. is not just about the food and drinks, it’s about the entertainment, too, and the restaurant offers live music multiple times during the week. Listen to some tunes while enjoying a leisurely brunch or check their calendar for their upcoming line-up. Pull up a chair, cozy up to the bar or find a spot at one of the long wooden tables; it’s time to discover this hidden gem in Lake Worth.

C.W.S. Bar + Kitchen is located at 522 Lucerne Avenue in Lake Worth; cwslw.com The restaurant is open at 7 a.m. for coffee, at 4 p.m. for dinner, at 11 a.m. for Sunday brunch and is closed on Mondays. For more information and to make a reservation, call (561) 318-5637.