Dayton’s newest restaurant, Hunger Paynes Beer & Wine Garden has quietly opened inside the Dayton Mall. Andrew Payne, owner/operator the of Hunger Paynes food truck has been working on this for well over a year. The concept is simple 12 local beers on tap, Ohio wines and of course the croquettes made popular on his food truck.
Asking Andrew how he came up with the concept he shared that the owners of the Dayton Mall, Washington Prime Group, actually approached him with this concept. They have done a couple of similar projects in their other properties, in Muncie they have a place with 4 beers on tap that’s about a third of the size of this one and they wanted to pilot a bigger concept here in Dayton. Andrew signed the lease in August, but there were a lot of delays, as this is a pretty new concept and it took the mall, Macy’s and Hunger Paynes some time to work out all of the logistics.
Payne, who started his food service career at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base Officers Club as a busboy at 15, has worked in many different food environments. He was part of the opening team of Quaker Steak & Lube, worked at NCR Country Club, Cracker Barrel. He went on to get his culinary degree from Hocking College. He came back and opened the Filling Station with some friends and then went on to become a sous chef before moving up to Executive Chef at both the Nutter Center and the Dayton Convention Center. He left the convention center when he opened the Hunger Paynes truck in 2013, though he still goes back to help form time to time when they have big events. Andrew’s wife and business partner Amie is a CPA and that makes her the perfect person to handle the books and paperwork for Hunger Paynes. Also part of the team for this new venture, Missy the general manager and Adam who will manage the kitchen.
Andrew explained how the concept of just serving local beer on their 12 taps was decided and he said “it’s my way to give back to all the local breweries that were so good to me and all the other local food trucks. We’ll also feature local wines, when possible and the sweet Hunter’s Red from the Winery at Versailles was the inspiration for our signature Wine Slushy.” They’ll also carry a Moscato from Italy, and some Napa Valley wines as well. They will also carry rotating bottled beers and feature cans of soda. Plans for a happy hour are still under way and will be added soon.
The croquettes are the mainstay of the menu but you’ll also find a a cheese and meat platter with some upscale cured meats, a cheese only platter featuring a white truffle goat truffle pretzel bites as well as a couple of salad options and wraps. Payne shares that they’ll have to judge the appetites of his guest, and will make changes to the menu as needed.
The Grand Opening Celebration for this 42 seat eatery is Saturday, June 9th. The first 100 guests that order a beer will receive a logo’d pint glass and Payne shares there are over $10,000 worth of give-aways planned, including some mini fidget spinner bottle openers. The Mall has booked live music from 1-6pm.
The Wine & Beer Garden will open one hour after the mall opens and stay open one hour after the mall stores close, allowing the 500 employees of the Dayton Mall to have the option for an after work drink and snack. Hours may change after they see what the flow of business is like and Payne shared he has plans for painting parties and trivia to be added soon.
Payne also operates The American Croquette Company, making and distributing modern forms of the classic croquette for sale to restaurants. You can find these locally at Kings Table and JD Legends, with plans for broader distribution in the works.
And don’t worry, the Hunger Paynes Food Truck will continue to operate as usual.