If you’re looking for a great new spot to hang out, people watch, or cool off from the heat with a delicious specialty-made cocktail here in Sayulita, then check out Sayulita’s newest bar, Wild Iris. Located just one block from the main beach, and one block from the plaza, Wild Iris is the perfect, cozy little surf bar to lounge, chill out, listen to music, and enjoy a quality beverage while you take in Sayulita’s sights and people. Its kid-friendly and dog-friendly atmosphere, along with its laid-back vibe, make it a wonderful meeting place for large groups and friends to gather. Owner Danielle Murphy tells me more about Wild Iris, which opened its doors just a few months ago, on November 23rd of 2019.
Hi Danielle! First, can you give readers a brief background about yourself? Where are you originally from, and what brought you to Sayulita?
I was originally born and raised in Vallejo, California. I later moved down to Santa Cruz, California to continue my education at UCSC, all while working full time bartending and within research labs both on and off campus. While in Santa Cruz, I met my boyfriend, Garth Dumont, who was the one who introduced me to Sayulita. Our first visit to Sayulita was in July of 2017, and I just loved the area! I think I fell in love with the atmosphere the most- the relaxed type of lifestyle really helped me with my anxiety, and taught me how to live by my own clock without the social-time restraints I had been so accustomed to. After that first trip, my boyfriend and I continued visiting Sayulita together very often. I graduated UCSC with my Bachelor’s Degree in Cognitive Science in 2018, and feeling burnt-out from academia, I plunged full time into bartending. That’s when the opportunity came up to possibly open a bar in Sayulita, and I immediately thought “why not?” It sounded like the ultimate adventure- packing up all my things and my life, with the person I love, to move and open a bar in paradise? I figured if worse came to worse, we would just move back to California, which didn’t sound so bad either. Thus, in January of 2019, myself, Garth, and our two dogs, packed up and drove 1,800 miles from Santa Cruz to Sayulita to start building the bar, and make a new life together here in Sayulita.
Where does the name for the bar "Wild Iris" come from?
Ultimately, the name came from our dog, Iris, who is a 1.5 year old border collie mix. She’s absolutely crazy!
What type of bar would you say Wild Iris is- what is the overall vision or concept for it?
Even in the beginning when starting Wild Iris, we had a very clear idea of what kind of bar we wanted it to become, and I believe we stayed very true to that concept. Wild Iris is a very casual cocktail bar. Whether you’re looking to step aside from the buzz of Sayulita, plan a low-key date night, catch up with friends, or have a solo drink, Wild Iris in Sayulita is the best spot to do all of that and more.
What sort of overall vibe or experience can guests expect when they come to Wild Iris in Sayulita? Guests can expect a comfortable atmosphere with affordable specialty drinks. Our bartenders are upbeat and attentive, providing a service that reflects positivity. Our goal is to get to know our guests, whether you're traveling through town, or residing here long term, we want everyone to feel welcome. We typically have old-school surf videos playing on the TV, and the AC going during the hot weather. You can choose to sit at the bar, or relax in the back lounge area and have your drinks brought to you.
What are some of your favorite things about your bar, Wild Iris?
When creating Wild Iris, I wanted to create a space that I loved, and could share that love with Sayulita. I absolutely love how we attract such a large and diverse demographic. We don't have a small niche, because everyone is welcome in our space. I also love the creative process behind what went into curating the menu. My favorite drink right now is the “Ojo de la Pasión”; it is a perfect blend of tequila, mezcal, coconut, passion fruit, lime and pineapple juice. Other than being a delicious cocktail, the “Ojo de la Pasión” is my favorite drink because we created it with the help of good friends, and then a week later it was actually named by a customer who jumped in on the creative process! To me, this cocktail turned into a symbol for the type of community we want to build here in Wild Iris in Sayulita.
If you had to describe Wild Iris with just a few words- what would they be?
“Built around guests.”
Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about Wild Iris?
We are open Thursdays through Tuesdays from 6:00 p.m to 1:00 a.m., and are closed Wednesdays. We are located on Calle Gaviota, #10 Sayulita (across from the Oxxo, turning left on the street corner of Restaurant Emiliano’s and down that street headed toward where Su Casa Bar used to be). Also, we are starting a new weekly special for all Sayulita industry workers. To help build the sense of community we are aiming toward, we will be offering special discounts every Tuesday night (“Industry Night”) to other industry workers in town. Just come in to Wild Iris and provide us with the location you work in order to receive the discount promotion. This simply means if you work in the restaurant/service industry in Sayulita in any way, then you understand how it feels to be serving your guests like royalty all week long, and we want to provide a place to serve and take care of you!
*Written by: Aanya Sheikh-Taheri