Scott Wise learned some lessons with his chain of Scotty’s Brewhouse and Thr3e Wise Men Brewing Co. restaurants.
Wise, whose primary job now is first vice president of commercial real estate brokerage CBRE, launched Roots Burger Bar in Muncie two years ago as what he called his “side hustle.” Wise, who lives on the north side of Indianapolis, plans to open his second Roots Burger Bar in Carmel in the Brookshire Village Shoppes at 12552 Gray Rd., in late 2021 or early 2022. Wise said he has a lot of respect for the center’s developer, KennMar, and its president/CEO, Brent Benge.
“The (restaurant) name comes from me going back to my roots and what I used to love about this business and what I kind of got away from 20 years of running Scotty’s,” Wise said. “It started with going back to my original location in my hometown (near Muncie) and my alma mater university (Ball State). What I like to believe is we all kind of go back to our roots. We never want to forget our foundation.”
Wise, who had a Scotty’s Brewhouse in downtown Carmel, said he loves the Brookshire Village Shoppes center being nestled into the surrounding neighborhoods.
“I’m not going to grow a chain of restaurants again,” Wise said. “The love I had for this industry was back when I was simplifying things and was back to the basics.”
Wise said he initially planned only one Roots restaurant.
“Back when Scotty’s was four or five restaurants in the college towns, I could travel from city to city and knew all my staff by name,” he said. “I’m not going to make the wrong turn this time. With Scotty’s, the goal was always to grow it as big as I could and sell it. With this one, that is not the plan. I want to keep it small, keep it intimate and understand the nurturing of these roots takes the entire community, takes our staff, takes me and everybody.”
Previously, Wise had 15 restaurants in Indiana and one each in Florida, Illinois and Ohio. He sold the business to Arizona-based Due North Holdings in 2016. The firm filed for bankruptcy in 2018. Wise also faced lawsuits from investors and filed personal bankruptcy.
Wise said his experiences help him give advice in his role at CBRE.
“I can tell them what I did right and what I did wrong and maybe help them avoid some of those pitfalls,” Wise said. “I can use my past experiences to help someone be successful, not just in choosing the right site and negotiating the right lease. But beyond that I can help them with labor and working with the right general contractor. I love what I’m doing now because I think I can help people.”
Wise said he is going to live life day by day and focus on enjoying what he is doing.
Wise said Roots Burger Bar will be open seven days a week and employ 25 to 30 people in the 2,500-square feet location.
“It’s a good smashburger concept that offers appetizers and salad,” Wise said. “There is a steak and some fish tacos. We’re going to have 15 big TVs in there to watch sporting events.”
For more, visit rootsburgerbar.com.