did you know?
- Scotty's Buger Joint is now open in Columbus, IN?
- Scotty's offers catering and delivery?
- Scotty's now serves brunch on Saturday and Sunday?
- Kids eat free on Sundays and Tuesdays?
The Story Behind Scotty's
Chapter 1: Muncie - Established in
Chapter 2: Bloomington - July 2001
Chapter 3: West Lafayette - January 2004
Chapter 4: Indianapolis North - November 2006
Chapter 5: Indianapolis Downtown - January 2009
A broken-down building on the corner of Martin and University in the Ball State University Village known as Mugly's Pub & Eatery stood as a landmark for BSU alumni. Three beers on tap, a Mugly burger and a pool table made this campus "dive" a hit with students. However, times were changin' and so soon Mugly's would, too.
Scotty was a local boy who was taught early to be an entrepreneur. A grandfather that owned a canning factory (and where the love for jazz and blues came from), a father that owns a commercial construction company (Wise, Inc.) and Scotty - who was always trying to start a business of his own (whether it was a Summer lawn business or even selling homemade cinnamon toothpicks at school in 3rd grade.) It was in the bloodline to keep with family traditions and motivations.
College summers were spent in Panama City, FL at The Sunset Restaurant & Lounge as a waiter. Many say his boss Charles Collins was the original inspiration to his future career as a restauranteur. College winters were spent at local establishments as a dishwasher, cook and waiter. Do you see a trend here? Keep reading and you will...
After graduating from Ball State University in December 1995 with a degree in marketing and public relations, Scotty moved to Houston to work as a Copywriter for a large sporting goods company. He supplemented his income by bartending at night. And this is when he realized that the food service industry is where he belonged.
Moving back to Muncie, Scotty heard a rumor that Mugly's was for sale. After putting together a business plan, struggling to coerce a bank to loan money to a 22 year old and talking Papa Wise into the risky venture - Scotty soon removed the Mugly's sign and replaced it with Scotty's Brewhouse. Scotty's soon became one of the most popular "watering holes" on campus. And after a year of successful business, Scotty and his father leveled the entire block and rebuilt the buildings from ground up. Trying to recreate a "Village" atmosphere of old brickstone and cobblestone sidewalks, father and son has brought life back to a Village that was without.
Wise wanted to create a neighborhood pub similar to what you would find on every corner of Lincoln Park in Chicago. Something that is friendly and welcoming to all ages. And, that has become his niche and differentiation. A restaurant that welcomes children, community and campus patrons... something for everyone at Scotty's!
Enter Scotty's Brewhouse and you will be greeted with old gas burning lanterns, solid brick interior, hand-made oak bar, tables and stools, friendly faces and ice cold beer.
Like all Type A entrepreneurial personalities, Scotty wasn't satisfied with the challenge of "just one" restaurant. As a fan of the Indiana Hoosiers basketball program, a light bulb went off in his tiny, curly blonde brain... would this work in Bloomington, Indiana?
The birth of a business partnership and friendship with Scotty's "right hand man" and managing partner in Bloomington, Eric Thomas Schamp...
A few years earlier... Scotty knew Eric from high school. Rivals in the sport of swimming, Scotty and Eric saw each other at swim meets during school and Summers. They put their sporting competition days behind them and continued their friendship at the same college and joined the same fraternity.
In 1996 Scotty opened the Brewhouse. A few months later, Eric applied for a kitchen and bartending position. Eric worked his way up the ranks and was soon the General Manager in Muncie. When it came time for expansion, Eric was willing to invest time and money to become the managing partner in Bloomington, Indiana.
Eric and Scotty drove to the community known for its presence on the basketball court. Bloomington, Indiana is more than just the center of the "basketball universe," it is a town that is gorgeous will rolling hills, beautiful lakes and a small city town square that meshes with the college of Indiana University. They hunted thru buildings "for lease," others "for sale;" but, the answer was written on a vinyl banner 20 yards from where they parked their car the very first day they rolled into town... "WALNUT CENTER PARKING GARAGE NOW AVAILABLE" - a parking garage that was being built was looking for a commercial tenant for its ground floor space.
Many trips back and forth, many months of searching for the perfect property and final approval from their wives, Amy and Dea - the foursome celebrated with cocktails and a night on the town..... The lease was signed, construction began and the 2nd Brewhouse became apart of Scotty's legend.
Scotty and Eric opened their doors to the campus and community on August 1, 2001. Tyler Thompson, Scotty's cousin and with the company for over 3 years, joined Scotty and Eric in Bloomington as the Assistant General Manager. As Scotty began to form the Executive Management team, Eric joined him and currently sits as Chief Operations Officer.
Next time you visit this beautiful town of hills, lakes and BASKETBALL, stop by Scotty's for your pre-game or post-game celebration!
Once again, the kid that couldn't sit still in class, was getting antsy. He thought, "It isn't fair that IU gets to taste Scotty's; but, the rival down the road, Purdue doesn't have one of their own."
Scotty has always believed in personal growth, achievement and reward. It is company policy to always look within the ranks when positions come open. Many of Scotty's associates have by-passed careers that are more lucrative in the business for their belief and passion in the Brewhouse philosophy. One of those associates is Tyler Thompson.
Tyler is Scotty's first cousin. His family ties did not earn him the job, however. Tyler's work ethic, dedication, dependability, honesty, desire and commitment to the Brewhouse Family blazed his career path.
Tyler started as a bartender for Scotty in 1996, working his way through college. Tyler then left for Charleston, SC for a brief period to pursue his degree in exercise science. Much like Scotty, Tyler realized corporate America was not where he belonged; but, rather pouring a pint over friendly conversation was "the road less traveled" he would choose.
Tyler worked for Scotty at his 2nd restaurant concept, Lucy!Lucy, in Muncie, IN. When this concept was closed, Tyler accepted the position of Assistant General Manager at the Bloomington Scotty's Brewhouse. In the chain of hierarchy, Tyler was first to be offered the Managing Partner position for West Lafayette. Tyler accepted the opportunity and challenge(s) that lie before him.
Herman Renfro waltzed into the Brewhouse in Bloomington and said, "I've heard you were looking around West Lafayette." With a chuckle, Scotty said, "Word travels fast, what do you know?" "I know I have a set of plans in my trunk, a building available and a lease ready to sign," said Renfro. A handshake later, Scotty and Herman signed a deal for Scotty's Brewhouse at Wabash Landing.
The Wabash Landing project is awe-inspiring. A "town centre" concept that features restaurants, coffee shops, a Border's Book Store, a 10-screen cinema, a 100-room Hilton Garden Inn, 100 live-in rental condos, an ice skating rink and now a Scotty's Brewhouse. (If you stay at the Hilton, order room service - Scotty's is the contracted lunch and dinner restaurant for the hotel.) Wabash Landing is located in front of the old levee, on the corner of 26 and River Road (43), just 3 blocks from the Chauncey and Purdue University's center of college campus activities.
Scotty's growing philosophy: individuals who work WITH him, not FOR him. Tyler whole-heartedly invested in the Brewhouse philosophy and assumed his position as Managing Partner at Scotty's in West Lafayette. Luke Duncan, former Muncie Scotty's Kitchen Manager, joined Tyler in his venture as West Lafayette Kitchen Manager. As the company grew, Tyler and Luke also joined the Scotty's Brewhouse Executive Management team.
So a triangle of locations were established (those unfamiliar with Indiana, these 3 locations lie in a triangular pattern, each about 2 hours apart). Strategically, the next sensible location would be Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana and center of the triangle.
Many graduates of "Scotty's college cities" (Bloomington/IU, Muncie/BSU and West Lafayette/PU) move after college. Some go out West, some to Chicago, some down South; but, a large majority of graduating seniors head to Indianapolis. Well, so did Scotty!
Many Indianapolis residents are familiar with the Brewhouse concept. They identify with the brand and have name recognition with Scotty's Brewhouse. Parents of Indiana college students may have dined at a Brewhouse during a weekend visit. Some just stopped by as they traveled to Lake Monroe or on their way up to Chicago. All of these are reasons Scotty chose Indianapolis as his 4th location.
Scotty researched the Indianapolis North location for about a year. The Brewhouse really thought it would land in Broadripple; but, parking constraints, the high price of rent and incorrect demographics steered Scotty towards the Northeast side of Indy. Nora, Carmel, Fishers and even downtown Indy were all looked at as possibilities. However, the 96th Street location was the perfect fit.
Scotty's has great exposure on the corner of 96th and Delegate's Row, nestled in demographics that have made the restaurants a success in each college town: the younger, recently out-of-school that live on 82nd and in Broadripple and the married-with-kids clientele that live in Fishers, Noblesville and Carmel, just to the North of 96th.
Scotty's Indianapolis North remains true to the concept and humble beginnings; but, there are a few added twists. Scotty's Brewhouse Indianapolis North was the first restaurant in the regional Brewhouse chain to offer a full bar, including liquor. Scotty's Indianapolis North location was also the first Brewhouse offering accommodations for secluded private parties and events. A flat screen TV at EVERY booth and over 16 more plasma TVs hang throughout the restaurant so guests are sure to never miss a play.
Scotty calls this location, Fusion Atmosphere! This is the blending of two unlike items that actually work well together and complement each other. So, to try and describe this type of atmosphere becomes very difficult. A sports bar? Kind of. A trendy club? Kind of. A casual burger joint? Kind of. A place to kick back on the patio, have an ice cold beverage, eat a great meal and be taken care of by some of the best servers in the industry? Dead on.
The opening of the Indianapolis North location marked another time for some internal reward, recognition and promotions. Much like the way domino's fall, so is the way the team fell into place. Managers serving in key positions and supportive roles moved from various Scotty's locations to work at the Indianapolis North restaurant as all this movement and growth creates more opportunities for everyone within the company.
After seeing the success the first Scotty's location to offer a full bar experienced, both Scotty's Bloomington and West Lafayette locations were remodeled, retrofitted and followed suit.
Scotty thought his only location in Indianapolis would be on the North side. With his focus toward Chicago and Columbus, downtown Indianapolis was only a slight possibility. But, with the incredible growth of downtown Indianapolis, the new Lucas Oil Stadium, tripling the size of the current convention center, the development of new condos, apartments and residential living, "slight possibility" soon started to become an active reality.
Scotty was introduced to Greg Allen in the summer of 2007 in Las Vegas. Both at the Hard Rock Hotel for different reasons, both had a common interest - growth of their businesses. Greg owns Jefferson Plaza in downtown Indianapolis. With a major remodel on the horizon for his building (and a name change, now Allen Plaza), the location at 1 Virginia Avenue is just 1 block North of Bankers Life Fieldhouse, 4 blocks East of Lucas Oil Stadium and just 2 blocks East of Circle Center Mall, both gentlemen wondered if this would be the next "perfect fit" for Scotty's Brewhouse.
The over 15,000 square footage location was superb and Scotty was given the rights to use the plaza portion of the property for his restaurant patio. This meant Scotty's would be able to seat over 150 people on the patio (the same amount that the Muncie and Bloomington stores seat inside).
A year of negotiations later, Scotty signed the lease for the ground floor location with the 5,000 square foot patio. The patio features a waiting/lounge area with couches and an 8 foot diameter fire pit. Inside the restaurant, a communal table seats 12 in the bar area, private party space is available and accommodating for parties as large as 88 and a private conference/board room can be reserved for up to 16. All in all, the downtown Indianapolis location has seating for over 450 guests.
In keeping with the Scotty's Brewhouse tradition, as the opportunity for growth presented itself once more, a team of dedicated Brewhouse associates from other Brewhouse locations serve in top and supportive management roles.
Is there really a "Scotty"?
Yes, there really is a "Scotty!"
Scotty is now 38 (at the time this story was written) and lives in Indianapolis with his wife, Amy, and their three children - son, Slater, and twins (a boy and a girl), Lincoln and Vaughn. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Restaurant and Hospitality Association of Indiana, was recently named Indiana Restaurant Association's 2009 Restauranteur of the Year and made the Indianapolis Business Journal's prestigious 40 under 40 list.
You may not see Scotty as often as you did in the early years. Scotty used to tend bar every Wednesday night in Muncie and every Friday night in Bloomington. With the addition of more and more Brewhouse locations, Scotty can only pull the occasional bar shift now. Most of his time is spent in marketing, design and new site selection for the company's expansion. He is still very "hands on" and visits each restaurant regularly to make sure the high standards of service, cleanliness and teamwork he set in the very beginning are still being met. If you are ever in a Brewhouse, ask for Scotty. If he's in town, he'll come by your table, shake hands and talk with you for awhile. If he's not and you'd like to keep up with his antics, follow Scotty on Twitter (@brewhouse) or Facebook (Scotty's Brewhouse).
The magic of this company is to not set any parameters or limits. The sky is the limit and when opportunity comes knocking, Scotty will answer the door. So, if you are interested in financing, investing or even think you might have a suggestion for Scotty's next location, send him an email:email@example.com.
Hope you will come visit one of the Brewhouse locations. And, keep your eyes and ears open. Scotty can't sit still for long. We are sure he has another Brewhouse planned to be built any time now...