Wise Guys Liquors opens fun, innovative Valparaiso store

Wise Guys Liquors opens fun, innovative Valparaiso store
By: Curtis Hankins Last Updated: July 30, 2020

After three years in the works, Wise Guys Liquors is finally ready to open their brand new Valparaiso location on 2154 West Morthland Drive. Popular for their massive selection of craft beers, wines, and spirits, and some of the most knowledgeable staff in the Region, Wise Guys Liquors has primed the new store to be fun and innovative.

“We developed this store with the Valparaiso Community in mind,” said Don Weiss, President of Wise Guys Liquors. “With our long history here in town, we really wanted to make our best effort come through for the people of Valpo. Having much of our staff live in Valpo, made this a passion project for a lot of us.”

Wise Guys teamed up with Chester Inc., a local firm that offers architectural, construction, and other services, to design and build the store. Chester Inc.’s philosophy is to work directly with business owners to help them turn their creative vision into reality.

“We always focus on supporting local businesses on every job and Chester’s dedication to Valpo was a great fit,” said Bob Billick, VP of Design and Development.  “Chester Inc. has a lot experience in Valparaiso and we had fun finishing on time and on budget with a superior product that were really proud of.”

One of the most impressive features of the new store is its state-of-the-art wine racking system. It houses more than 4,000 bottles of wine, and even includes aa built-in humidor to house the best cigars available on the market. Rustic wood wine bins, attractive lighting, expansive beer coolers and their traditional extra wide aisles all add to the experience.  

“It’s a beautiful building,” said Rich Shields, Director of Marketing & Business Development for Chester Inc. “I think the most impressive thing about this partnership is that we were able to finish such a fantastic building in a time of turmoil. This was getting worked on right as COVID-19 started going on, but we were still able to make it look extraordinary.”

Wise Guys also sets themselves apart by focusing on education through what they call “Wise Guys University”.  Enrollment is free and allows customers to enjoy tastings, classes and other events at the welcoming tasting bar located in the rear of the store.

“It’s a fun and informational way for us to engage with our customers,” said Brett Gargano VP of Finance and Store Operations. “The bar lets us host tasting events, exclusive bottle releases, and classes from leaders in the industry and experts in their crafts.”

Normally, putting together a store as meticulously designed as this would be incredibly costly, even done without the backdrop of a pandemic. Wise Guys got it done thanks to a partnership with Wintrust Bank.

“They’re one of our leading banking partners and put together a fantastic financing package for us,” Gargano said. “They did it with such flexibility and speed that with Chester Inc.’s help, it only took six months to finish from the start of construction. The support and backing provided by Wintrust has continued to allow us to bring the Wise Guys brand to life.”

Wise Guys Valparaiso is opening for business on August 10, and is located on 2154 West Morthland Drive. For more information about Wise Guys, visit them at wiseguysliquors.com.