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Wise Guys’ stay downtown short-lived as bar and restaurant closes

A "for sale" sign on the former "Other Place" and "Wise Guys" restaurant and bar in downtown Mason City
A “for sale” sign on the former “Other Place” and “Wise Guys” restaurant and bar in downtown Mason City

MASON CITY – A downtown restaurant and bar that opened just this year – Wise Guys – appears to have closed.

Once open 7 days a week, then 6 days a week, then 4 days a week, Wise Guys is closed today and will not re-open. Today, there were men in blue shirts loading up cases of drink into waiting vehicles.

“Hey fellas, is Wise Guys open?” they were asked.

“No, they are closed,” one of the men said.

The “open” signs on the building were not lit Thursday just after noon. In the latest hours the establishment had announced, Wise Guys would be open Thursday through Sunday.

Back in January of this year, Wise Guys announced it would open at 125 1st Street SE.

“Well Folks it’s OFFICIAL !!!!!” they announced via social media.  “Thanks to all of our loyal customers the last 5 years Wise Guys will be moving to a larger location & be serving FOOD !!!”

On September 19, Wise Guys owner Jason Wise announced via social media “With tears in our eyes and an ache in our hearts we would like to announce that Wise Guys has closed.  We would like to thank all our loyal customers, past and present employees and all others that helped us over the last 6 1/2 years.  As some of you know our family has experienced some issues in the last few months and we feel our efforts need to focused in that direction at this time.  Once again thanks for the memories. We will see you all soon.

A few days prior, Mr. Wise would not confirm to NIT that he was closing, when asked about rumors that the bar would close permanently.

The building underwent what appeared to be extensive remodeling before it was opened this winter.

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Oil wrestling!

This message is to Peter L….Obviously u know absolutely nothing about the bar business. There are a lot more expenses besides insurance. So NO its NOT “pure alcoholic profit”.

I read somewhere that when opening a new business (I know that they only moved) you need enough money to not make a profit for the first year. Don’t know if they blew through their reserves before getting enough business to stay afloat. If it was family issues I hope it turns out for the best what ever it is.

This would be an ideal location for Darrin and Derick (sp?) to move Little Chicago to. Still can’t understand why they were kicked out of their building by the new owner when he hasn’t done anything to it yet and it sounds like it will be awhile before anything is done to the building.

Ideal location for Little Chicago? How many hours do you have to wait for your food? If that place were filled up —bring your sleeping bag, you’d get your order completed sometime by the next afternoon. Not trying to be a dick, just being realistic. At best they are a carry out delivery joint. Besides, what would the rent on that place be? I doubt they could make it or even want to be saddled by it.

Don’t like to wait more than 5 minutes for your pizza? Does the “L” in your name stand for Little Caesars?

I haven’t been in there since it was the O.P. but they could wall off the kitchen and the south dinning rooms and rent just the kitchen and the dinning rooms as there is (or was) a set of bathrooms back there and a separate entrance. The downstairs and upstairs bar could be rented separate from the kitchen/dining area to somebody wanting just a bar business. You are right that the rent maybe high but split it in half it maybe more reasonable.

who owns the building?

They went way too metal with the decor. If it had stayed more professional and sports themed, it would have worked. No white collar workers wanted to go there after work, which is where the OP made most of its money.

I like heavy metal!!


Sportsmans will always be a downtown attraction

Sportsmans rules!! All these years Rob keeps his prices reasonable!

Rob benefits because he pays no rent. That building was owned by his father a long time ago. He keeps the lights dim. He has no real expenses except insurance. It’s pure alcoholic profit.

So it’s ok to live rent free when you are doing it, but if someone else does it’s scamming the system some way? And insurance is the only expense? You know as much about running a successful business as you know about being a good parent.

So what if he owns the building – he still has good price for a beer. $5 and up for a beer is poop!

Just wondering…. “As some of you know our family has experienced some issues in the last few months and we feel our efforts need to focused in that direction at this time”.

What kind of issues ? ? With these people they don’t have issues..they have a subscription !

Sorry to hear that Jason, good luck with your other endeavors.

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