Bill Whitlow

Goodfellas Pizzeria
Wiseguy Lounge
Beverage Director

Wiseguy Lounge
Instagram: @Wiseguylounge

Goodfellas Pizzeria
Goodfellas Mass Ave Menu:

Wiseguy Lounge Intro
Opened on March 17th, 2017 (St. Paddy's Day)
Goodfellas Pizzeria - began in Lexington, KY in 2005.  Pizza by the slice in the middle of a bar district.  
-Opened second pizzeria location in 2010. 
-First Wiseguy Lounge opened in Covington in 2012 when Bill was brought on. 
-7 Pizzerias and 4 Wiseguy Lounges in total. 

(2:52) Who are the original founders of Goodfellas?  
Alex Coats and Eric Boggs

(3:52) What makes Goodfellas pizza different than Dominoes or Pizza Hut? 
Quality!  Everything is fresh and handmade.  Nothing is frozen.

(5:52) How did Goodfellas Pizzeria choose Indianapolis?  
They actually learned about the potential of Mass Ave and Indianapolis through a distributor of theirs.  

(6:50) How did the concept of the speakeasy feeling and Wiseguys Lounge inside a pizzeria come to fruition?
The idea came from doing things that they liked... The owners and Bill.  They wanted a place to enjoy heavy pours of bourbon and bring that to Indianapolis. 

(8:35) Have you ran into issues with people not knowing you are back here?  
Purposely positioned for word of mouth clients rather than walk by traffic.  
No signage outside.  
Wiseguys wants people to find them who want to be there.  

(9:57) Do you live in Indianapolis? 
Bill lives in Covington but finds himself at all the locations throughout the weeks.  He's still able to make it here with a 2 hour drive.  

(10:40) How did you find yourself in this industry? 
Bill has been in the industry for 20 years now. 
Started working at a bar when he was 16 years old as a host and then immediately moved up to a bar-back.

(13:03) Have you done any sensory training to stay on top of your game?  
USBG - A member of US Bartender's Guild. 
Bill's done a Gin sensory kit at an industry conference.  

(15:20)  Wine before Bourbon - Bill is a Level 1 Sommelier

(16:00) How does one become a wine drinker or start getting into wine? 

(17:36) Any book recommendations for someone wanting to get into the wine side? 
Windows of the World

(19:50) Do you think there are fake bottles of whiskey being sold as vintage?  
Vintage Spirit Sales Allowed - Article

Sour Grapes  - Documentary referenced. 

(26:00) Do you geek out about the history behind the spirits? 
Always doing continuing education. 
Offer Corporate events for tasting and educational purposes.  

(27:15) How do you source vintage bottles? 
Estate Sales, Facebook Pages, and Building Relationships

(28:12) Are you a collector? 
Started collecting since 2005.  
Bill has roughly 600 bottles for his own personal collection. 

(29:40) What is your trophy bottle? 

(30:55) The process of single barrel bar picks.  Wiseguy Store Picks available at the bar.  

(35:25) Does the number of bottles continue to grow? 
Indianapolis location: 250-300 Bottles on the shelf. 

(36:33) What is your go-to whiskey neat at the bar? 
Cheap stuff! Old Grand Dad, Bottled in Bonds, et.  

(38:14) What is the Connoisseurs Club? 
A challenge to customers to try 100 different bourbons.  There is an app available. Some customers took the challenge and now they have a 250 challenge.  

(41:19)  Favorite all time store pick in his life? 
The Bourbon Guys - blogging group
Russell's Reserve 10 Year: C3 - Barrel 62:  Only 140 bottles available. 

(42:58)  Favorite Distillery?  

(48:15) Are you happy with or over the Bourbon Boom? 
Bill loves it.  It is a career for him which means more money in his wallet but he is also a drinker which means there's more good bourbon around.  

(48:45) Do you consider Wiseguy Lounge as a premier bourbon bar here in Indianapolis? 
Yes!  The staff is professionally trained. 
They won't hire college kids as bartenders.  They focus on career bartenders who are passionate about the position. 

(50:09) Do you find it tough to retain employees in this industry? 
Wiseguy Lounge has had the lowest attrition rate of any business he has worked for in the industry.  Well respected by the owners.  Becomes more of a lateral leadership platform.  

(54:20) What is the future of Wiseguys and Goodfellas? 
Nashville, Colombus, Evansville, Bloomington... these are all areas they are currently scouting out.  

(58:50) Bill's secret recipe to success!

(1:02:38) The uptick of liquor during the 2008 recession. 
People wanted to spend money on quality versus quantity.  This trend has continued since.  

Temprance - 2013 Woodford Manhattan Experience Regional Winner
-Do not drink right away> Burning Bourbon > Hot Glass
-Knob Creek Single Barrel 120 proof and torch it. 
-Woodford Reserve, Raspberry Infused Vermouth from in house, house made vanilla syrup, orange blossom water, allspice ram, and bitter truth aromatic bitters. 
-"Drink DJ"

(1:09:20) Rapid Fire Questions

Willett Family Estate 3 Year Rye:
Review (outside source):

Russels Reserve 10 Year: Wiseguy Lounge Store Pick (110 proof) 
Review (outside source):

Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit:  Wiseguy Lounge Store Pick (101 proof) 
Review (outside source):


Mass Ave Indy District
     545 Massachusetts Avenue
     Indianapolis, IN 46204

     Su-W: 11a-12a
     Th-Sa: 11a-2:30a
     Bar opens daily for lunch