After an admittedly difficult year dealing with the fallout from the closure of two of his namesake eateries, restaurateur Scott Wise is starting 2014 with a bang.
Wise is finalizing a deal to locate a Scotty’s Brewhouse in a prime spot along the Monon Greenway in Carmel’s Arts and Design District. The 6,500-square-foot space at 110 W. Main St. housed Detour: An American Grille until it closed abruptly this month.
When it opens in late April—a week after a long-awaited Brownsburg outpost is scheduled to debut—the Carmel restaurant will be the eighth Brewhouse location. The ninth, in Fort Wayne, is expected to come online in late summer. Parent company A Pots & Pan Production also owns Thr3e Wise Men Brewing in Broad Ripple.
Wise also lent his name to upscale burger joint Scotty’s Lakehouse near Geist Reservoir and a sister restaurant in Columbus, which his team operated for two years under a management agreement with another restaurant owner.
Those locations closed in late 2012 after a dispute between the parties, reopening last year under new management as Detour American Grille and Bars—a concept Wise said started with a former Scotty’s employee who struck out on his own. (The now-defunct Carmel location has a different owner, and the ex-employee is no longer involved.)
“It’s kind of ironic,” Wise said of taking over the Detour space. But “I’m a guy who looks at all opportunities.”
Because the restaurant concepts are so similar, he doesn’t expect the space to need much work. Wise’s company is buying Detour’s fixtures, furniture and equipment, and it’s negotiating with building owner Keystone Group to take over the lease.
Unlike Detour, which featured live music that sometimes ran afoul of the city’s noise ordinance, Scotty’s strives to offer a family-friendly atmosphere, Wise said. The Carmel location also will open at 9 a.m. on weekends during warm-weather months in hopes of drawing some breakfast customers in from their morning Monon activities.
Despite the unplanned foray into Carmel, Wise remains interested in returning to Fishers’ Geist area. He has looked at locations near 116th Street and Hoosier Road and further east at 116th and Olio Road, and he’s open to other options, too.
“All the plays are on the table,” Wise said. “I’d even consider our old space” if it were available.
Wise also is in discussions about the possibility of opening a Brewhouse in an old train depot in Richmond, and officials are close to announcing a Muncie location for Thr3e Wise Men.
More immediately, Wise is working toward a May opening for a new concept: a Bloomington bar called C3 at Renwick Village, which he’ll operate under a management agreement. Plans call for classic cocktails and small-plate cuisine.
And after that? “We want to try to get out of state,” he said.
The communities at the top of his wish list: Louisville, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio.