Photo by Taylor Wooten
We hadn’t heard much from Wise since then. Until last week, when the entrepreneur announced his plans to open a Roots Burger Bar in Carmel’s Brookshire Village Shopping Center, an expansion of his Muncie restaurant of the same name that lives inside an old Scotty’s on the edge of the Ball State University campus.
That got us wondering: What became of all of those other abandoned Scotty’s, a brand that was once so popular that its larger restaurants were laid out with designated holding pens for customers waiting to eat Macho Nachos and peanut butter–slathered Shewman Special cheeseburgers? Turns out, a few of the addresses have recently changed hands. Just last month, the Southport Scotty’s was purchased for $1.23 million by Lakhvir Johal to create Royal Indian Restaurant and Banquet Hall. And sometime in early 2022, the former 10,000-square-foot Scotty’s at 3905 E. 96th St. will re-open with two tenants: Prodigy Burger Bar (which also took over the late Scotty’s Lakehouse in Fishers) and Big Bear Biscuits.
Many of Wise’s restaurants were located on college campuses, with the first established in 1996 at Ball State (currently the aforementioned Roots Burger Bar). The Scotty’s Dawghouse on the Butler University campus was replaced by Chatham Tap pub in 2019, while the Scotty’s Brewhouse on Purdue University’s campus was replaced by a Wolfies Grill mid-2020. The Bloomington location now houses Yogi’s Bar & Grill.
Two bygone Scotty’s in Noblesville and Franklin were acquired by Nashville-based brewery Big Woods. The dearly departed Brownsburg Scotty’s at 251 W. Northfield Dr. is now an Arni’s Pizza, and the Mishawaka location became an Aspen Taphouse. The Broad Ripple site that formerly held Three Wise Men Brewing Co., also a venture by Wise, now houses a Sun King imprint that serves smashburgers from Neal Brown’s One Trick Pony.
And finally, two local locations remain in limbo, awaiting a new buyer. The downtown Indianapolis showpiece that attracted sports fans and tourists with its sprawling dining room and centerpiece patio as well as the Fort Wayne location currently sit empty, along with five of Wise’s restaurant ventures in Illinois, Texas, and Missouri. We’re waiting patiently to see what’s on tap.