Ironton restaurant owners reopen after having to close their doors

Wise Guys restaurant reopens in Ironton
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 3:56 PM EST
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IRONTON, Ohio (WSAZ) - Running a restaurant that’s also a small business is a labor of love.

Cody Wise owns Wise Guys in Ironton and he says he got the place on a whim in late 2019.

“I literally took like $500 to Sam’s Club and just started cooking for my close friends,” Wise said.

He fell in love with running his business, not knowing what was right around the corner.

“We started cooking, and (Gov. Mike) DeWine shut the state down in March,” Wise said.

They kept their kitchen moving and kept hanging on, until the the effects of the pandemic got to be too much.

“Prices have skyrocketed, the economy, people aren’t spending as much money,” Wise said. “It’s an every day struggle.”

Earlier this month, Wise had to make the tough decision and close his doors.

“This has been my baby for four years. My son loves it here,” Wise said. “I have ten employees, I didn’t want to put anyone out of work.”

Before the sign on the door could officially come down, there was a change of heart.

“We closed for two weeks and it just wasn’t sitting right,” Wise said. “We talked to everybody, and everyone was ready to come back. I missed it! I missed my employees and I missed my customers. That’s all that was going through my mind, that’s all I was thinking about, did I make the wrong decision?”

After an outpouring of love from customers, Wise decided he couldn’t let them down.

“When he made the announcement he was going to continue operating in Ironton I was very excited because he literally has the best wings in town,” said customer Amanda Cleary. “Very grateful he’s still here.”

“It’s satisfying to serve somebody a good meal that you know and actually appreciates it,” Wise said.

The Wise Guys family is hoping to keep their hometown dream alive.

The staff at Wise Guys say the best way to support them is to just come in and enjoy a meal.

They’ve implemented a new menu and a new rewards program with their reopening.