by Joe Buttweiler –
MASON CITY — Just in time for March Madness and St. Patrick’s Day, a new sports bar has opened in the former site of Pete’s Corner Tap, 631 Sixth Street S.W.
Wise Guys Sports Pub, owned by Jason Wise, opened March 1, featuring several TV’s, lots of sports memorabilia and an atmosphere that Wise hopes is part Cheers and part basement bar.
There’s regular customer “Dan the Mailman” as Cliff, Cindy the bar manager as Carla, and bartender Mark Van Gorkom could pass for Sam Malone or Woody.
As for Wise? Maybe call him Coach.
“We’re taking applications,” Wise joked, for other roles.
He put in a new bar, renovated the bathrooms, did a little work on the ceiling and put up lots of pennants, some flags and lots of other sports memorabilia. There’s a pool table, several tables, jukebox and video poker machines.
“It’s just a nice atmosphere. We’re here to have fun,” said Wise.
Besides tap and bottle beer, various coolers, pop and mixed drinks, the tavern offers pizza, chips and free peanuts. And during hours when the adjacent Pete’s Kitchen is open, bar patrons can order from Pete’s menu.
Wise, who with his wife, Lynn, owns JasLyn Cleaning Services in Mason City, said he wants people to feel as comfortable at Wise Guys as they’d be at a bar in their own basement. There is a lot of interesting sports memorabilia to look at. A friend from Trader Jack’s at Southbridge Mall brought in some of it, and others have donated items.
Van Gorkom said that going back many years the spot hasn’t always had the greatest reputation, but Wise is committed to keeping it on the up and up.
Until last June the site operated as Pete’s Corner Tap. Owner Pete Kiroff, who owns Pete’s Kitchen, ran it for 10 years but found it took too much time to run both businesses, so he closed the bar and put up a for-sale or lease sign.
Lynn Wise happened to stop in a few months ago and overheard Kiroff talking about it. She mentioned that her husband wanted to open a bar.
“He (Jason Wise) was in two hours later,’’ Kiroff said. After a look around he decided to remodel and open up a sports bar.
Wise said the name for the bar was suggested by an employee.
He said he hopes to draw in a lot of first-time patrons during the NCAA basketball tournament, offering $2 draw specials, and that they’ll like it enough to come back often.
Regular hours will be 3 p.m. to midnight Tuesday through Thursday; 3 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday; noon Saturday until 2 a.m. Sunday; and from noon until 6 p.m. on Sunday. It will be closed on Monday, although that may change during football season.
For more information, go to the WiseGuys Sports Pub page on Facebook.