And so it begins……
Wiseguys A Chicago Eatery-Harker Heights, Tx
Like so many others from Chicago, Wiseguys started out in a modest 1000 sq ft building that had seating for about twenty. It was mean and lean and most equipment we had wasn’t made for high volume. After all, we “hoped” our dream was going to work because we were in the business of selling northern food to southerners . Quite a gamble at any rate. Well watch what you wish for….
Nov 09, 2009-Killeen Daily Herald HARKER HEIGHTS – From the minute you walked into it’s flagship location in Harker Heights, Texas you will think you would have taken a step back in time to those fabulous roaring twenties of Chicago.
Two brothers-in-law have opened a Chicago-style eatery along Central Texas Expressway to bring a taste of Chicago to the Fort Hood area. Wise Guys has been open in the Shops of Modoc, 300 Central Texas Expressway, for about two weeks. Owners Jerry Dugger and Bill Nychay said they are shocked by the large number of customers. They realized there were no Chicago-style hot dog places in Central Texas. “I was born and raised in Chicago,” Nychay said. “I grew up on hot dogs from Portillos and Gene and Judes in Chicago. I also saw at an early age that these places were packed.” Nychay suggested opening a place in Harker Heights to Dugger, a longtime resident. Dugger said he agreed after tasting several items on the menus in Chicago restaurants. They then pulled their favorite items from the menus and started to set up shop in October, Dugger said. Their goal was to capture as much of a Chicago feel as possible, so they did all the work themselves. “We actually built and designed this place all by ourselves,” Dugger said. The decor includes pictures of Chicago mobsters from Prohibition on the walls. The work took them about six to eight weeks. When you come in here, you are going to see (Chicago), smell it, taste it and feel it,” Nychay said. Wise Guys is going out of its way to get the same ingredients as Chicago restaurants, Dugger said. “The food that you get here are the same that you can get on State Street in Chicago,” Dugger said. Nychay boasted about the restaurant’s pizza puffs and Italian beef sandwiches. No other eatery in the Killeen area has those on the menu, Nychay said.
Business was good………too good
Wiseguys A Chicago Eatery-Killeen #1
Shortly after opening, because of the small space, Wiseguys was potentially LOSING business and had to make a decision, quick. A former sandwich shop was closing and wanted us to sublease from them. We jumped at the chance to get a location closer to Fort Hood and to more importantly take some of the pressure off our first small location. The plan worked, and we were able to accommodate more soldiers during lunch hour and take some of the capacity issues off our first shop.
Wiseguys A Chicago Eatery-Waco
With word traveling fast, it was only a matter of time before the kids at Baylor heard about our food. This would be our second location owned by a third party, but we as corporate would operate. This was our largest grossing store at the time and our benchmark for all others to follow. We also had our first experience with high volume sales as we secured concessions at Baylor for all sporting events. It was here we would learn our most valuable lesson and changed our operating and expansion plans forever. Wiseguys will never lose focus of our goals and will do that solely with company operated shops.
Wiseguys A Chicago Eatery-San Antonio #1
The Bratton Restaurant Group in a joint operating agreement with 3 Wiseguys LLC, opened the first of (5) five locations in San Antonio. This marked the first location with beer and wine and a full viewing sports package. We also introduced our “Take and Bake” Pasta program and just recently Pizza was added to the menu. This unit was set as a prime lunch location at the corner of Nakoma St. and West Ave. with quick access to hundreds of small businesses within just a few blocks. While most of it's business is during the day, it is also open for dinner. There is ongoing road construction just in front of the building. But this stores reputation remains very strong. Yelp rates it at 4.5 stars. Chicagoans simply will not be denied their hometown eats! Tack on the clean environment with multiple 100% health inspections and its easy to see why customers enjoy visiting this store time and time again.
Wiseguys A Chicago Eatery-Indian Harbour, Fl
3 GuysWise LLC in a joint operating agreement with 3 Wiseguys LLC, opened the first of (10) ten locations in Florida. This location also has beer and wine and a full viewing sports package. This marks our first location to offer true Chicago Pizza. Future locations coming in 2016 are Viera, Orlando, and Tampa.
Wiseguys A Chicago Eatery-San Antonio #2
With the WiseGuys Nakoma St. location firmly in place, The Bratton Restaurant Group with 3 Wiseguys LLC moved forward with their plan opening a second location at 2895 Thousand Oaks. A much larger establishment with a bar/lounge area, large dinning area. With catering in mind, the expansive kitchen is being structured as the hub to service all WiseGuys in the San Antonio area. This shop has set the standard for all future shops and serves as a training hub for any new shops in Texas.
Wiseguys A Chicago Eatery-San Antonio #3
The third San Antonio store opened in November 2017 on Austin Hwy at the intersection of Harry Wurzbach. This store is located very near Fort Sam Houston and is expected to have a large military following. While not as large as our Thousand Oaks location, there is ample seating in the dining room. Carry out and Online ordering are offered as well. Delivery options will most likely be available soon.
Wiseguys A Chicago Eatery-Austin/Round Rock
Our first store in the Austin/Round Rock area will be opened late January 2018. It is the first of 5 scheduled to open in the Austin area.
Wiseguys A Chicago Eatery-Austin/Cedar Park
And so it continues……
In The News
Round Rock’s Brass Tap teams up with WiseGuys, reopens as restaurant
Austin Statesman, September 10, 2020
WiseGuys in Round Rock holds Authenticity high as Chicago-Style Eatery
Austin Statesman, July18 2019
Top That Tuesday live showdown between Wiseguys A Chicago Eatery-San Antonio & Youz Guyz South Philly Cheesesteaks live on set at SA Live studios! We Win! March 28, 2017
KENS 5 WiseGuys March 20, 2017 - Italian Beef Sandwiches
Local restaurant gives full time job, free meals and housing to man in need. WiseGuys founder Bill Nychay with the Second Chance Initiative initial video and followup.
Woman turns double-tragedy into mission to spread awareness of little known disease
News4SA.com December 22, 2016
A Taste of Chicago from WiseGuys
Featured on KCEN NBC TV Waco December 29, 2015
WiseGuys - A Chicago Eatery - Toy Drive for the Children's Center on
Fox 29 News December 22, 2015.
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‘WiseGuys’ host Christmas donation drive
for children impacted by maltreatment
LA PRENSA online edition page 5.
Authentic Chicago Style Eatery
Comes to San Antonio
Local Community New - Castle Hills Edition Nov. 16 - Dec. 14, 2015. Click the image to go to the Local Community News and turn to page 17 to view the article.
WiseGuys - A Chicago Eatery
Article in the Waco Point November 3, 2015.
Chicago eatery WiseGuys opens in Indian Harbour Beach
Article in the USA Today online October 30, 2015.
San Antonio sports bars and restaurants
Diners, Drive-By’s and Dives: WiseGuys, A Chicago Eatery
Online Balor Lariat article October 5, 2015
WiseGuys returns Chicago eatery to Westview Village
The Waco Tribune article July 13, 2015
WiseGuys – A Chicago Style Eatery Smack Dab in San Antonio
Online at Flicks and Food June 14, 2015
SA Food Pics: Leave The Gun, Take The Cannoli
SA Current May 5, 2015
Chicago Style Favorites Take Over Texas!
From the Fontanini website
WiseGuys eatery captures taste of Chicago in Waco
Article in the Waco Tribune online version "Waco Today" page Feburary 27, 2014.
WiseGuys - A Chicago Eatery
WiseGuys: A Chicago Eatery
Texas Highways Online, April 2013
WiseGuys Coming to Killeen: You got a problem with that?
Article in the Killeen Daily Herald online version July 14, 2011.
WiseGuys Award Winning Commercials
Nov 2010, Harker Heights, Texas. This was our first foray into TV, Bill called a friend of his, "Philly Ron", asked him if he owned a dark suit and told him to be at the shop the next day by 9:00am. Your nothing without your people so we featured most of our employees. Philly Ron walked in, saw cameras and the rest is history...........
Wiseguys won the 2010 Silver Addy Award from Time Warner as the Best Independently Produced Commercial for Cable TV. Philly Ron still cant go anywhere without everyone yelling
Nov 2011, Killeen, Tx. Our second commercial produced by Fox TV once again featured "Philly Ron" at our second location. While we love every commercial we do, nothing beats our original. We again featured some of our employees in the spot.
After the success of first TV commercial, we started to run numerous deals and giveaways and this was just a quick commercial to sell our discounted gift certificates. This also features more of our first shop at just 1000 sq ft.
Produced by CBS TV, this is the first commercial to not feature Philly Ron (he was on vacation). This commercial stars our buddies Bruce and Cory Carbonara. Bruce happens to be a great singer and provides a lot of our Rat Pack entertainment and Cory teaches film at Baylor. This was shot on location in Waco and features our traditional Mob theme. This commercial got a great response.
We will always stay true to what we are and will always produce a catchy funny commercial to expand our brand.
Look for the next spot filming 2016!
Q: Is Wiseguys a chain?
A: It privately held. We have licensed partnered stores. We are looking into franchising options.
Q: Is Wiseguys fast food?
A: No. We do not stage food, every order is made fresh and takes time to cook.
Q: How long is a typical wait?
A: During peak lunch and dinner hours you can experience a 15-20 minute wait but in most instances you’ll have your order out in 5-10 minutes.
Q: Are there any Wiseguys in Chicago?
A: No, our first location opened in 2010 in Harker Heights, Tx
Q: Is the food real Chicago style?
A: All breads and meats with exception of our burgers come from Chicago. All our produce is grown locally.
Q: Are you guys from Chicago?
A: The founder was born and raised in Franklin Park, a suburb of Chicago
Sometimes we are so wrapped up in our own lives to think of others. Im happy to say we are partnering with a great charity this year. We will be doing a toy drive for Christmas and assisting the kids in anyway possible. We will be offering discounts on our meals with a donation for a less fortunate child this year. More news to follow.
Local eatery host Christmas donation drive for children impacted by maltreatment
by Anais Biera Miracle — The Children’s Shelter
Chicago-native, Bill Nychay is president of WiseGuys-a locally-based restaurant specializing in fare that made Chicago famous. In 2009, Bill and his brother-in-law started with a dream and a 1,000 square foot storefront, which has expanded to Florida, Oklahoma, and has opened his fifth store in San Antonio. Bill and his team, which includes owner/operator, Terri Bratton decided to embark on a mission to help those in need, with a particular interest in children. After a tour of The Children’s Shelter, Bill and his team immediately began to brainstorm how they could make Christmas a special memory for children at The Children’s Shelter. They looked within and decided to set-up an online donation platform on their website, http://yourgenericsmart.su/, which provides the opportunity for anyone to make an online monetary contribution. Next, they decided to use their restaurants as a drop off donation station for their patrons to bring a new and unwrapped toy.
All Christmas gift donations raised through December 23, 2015 at WiseGuys will not only put a smile on the face of an infant, child, or youth at our emergency shelter, but will be gifted to our youth who live at our residential treatment center for up to two years and are ages five through 12. Lastly, The Children’s Shelter ensures all children served through our family strengthening programs, foster care program, and the Harvey E. Najim Hope Center receives Christmas gifts. “Working with select charities is something we have always integrated as a business model in our restaurants, and with WiseGuys being new to the San Antonio market, we thought this would be a great fit for our team. We toured The Children’s Shelter and the staff is doing great things in an unfortunate time with these precious children,” states Nychay.
Christmas is a beautiful time of the year and children at The Children’s Shelter want to have a Merry Christmas, like any other child. At The Children’s Shelter we ensure our children dress up in their holiday apparel on Christmas day and open their gifts. The generosity of local businesses, individuals, groups, and corporations make it possible for all of our children served by The Children’s Shelter to celebrate Christmas.
WiseGuys-a Chicago Eatery is located at 441 West Nakoma Drive and donations can be made in store and with every donation, WiseGuys is offering customers a free combo their sandwich purchase. For more information, visit their Facebook page at Facebook.com/WiseGuysSanAntonio.
Al Capone - A man of Charity?
Yes, even that crazy gangster opened soup kitchens in Chicago to help feed the poor and homeless. In Chicago, the Italian immigrants viewed Capone as a leader in the community. He took care of them expecting nothing in return. He even sent rivals flowers at their funerals as respect.
Join Our Team
Mutual respect, teamwork, and leadership are the cornerstones upon which our company is built. That foundation, coupled with a fun and family-like atmosphere makes WiseGuys a great place to work.
We are always looking for talented candidates even if there is not a current job opening. If you have an interest in joining our team, we would love to hear from you. Why not introduce yourself?
Two new stores are opening soon. One in San Antonio on Austin Hwy and in Round Rock, Texas just north of Austin.
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Copyright© WiseGuys – A Chicago Eatery 2017 • Updated August 11, 2017 3:40 PM