Dayton Mall restaurant shuts down; replacement may already be in the works

Hunger Paynes Beer and Wine Garden opened 16 months ago on mall’s lower level

The Dayton area has lost one of its restaurants that was inspired and founded by a local food truck, but the Dayton Mall is already working on a deal to fill the space by the time the holiday season rolls around.

Hunger Paynes Beer and Wine Garden, which opened inside the Dayton Mall in July 2018, has “closed their operation,” David Duebbber, the mall’s general manager, confirmed to this news outlet.

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“We are in the process of working on a deal for a new tenant in that spot that will provide expanded items,  both food and beverages,” Duebber said. “We have not reached a point where we can release any specifics or names. We are hoping that it will be finalized and open for the holiday season.”

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The restaurant and beer garden — founded by Andrew Payne, the owner of Hunger Paynes food truck — was located in the lower level of the mall, near Macy's. Efforts to reach Payne late last week and early this week were unsuccessful.

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“We are trying to elevate the mall’s food, so to speak,” Payne said last year, shortly before the restaurant/beer garden opened. It served varieties of Hunger Paynes’ signature croquettes, as well as wraps and salads, and had a dozen Dayton-area beers on tap daily. A selection of wines also was available.

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Andrew Payne worked in several bricks-and-mortar restaurants and country club kitchens prior to launching his Hunger Paynes food truck in  2013. The food truck remains open and operating, and Payne also offers catering. He also owns the  American Croquette Company, and his croquettes are served at local restaurants, including some Dayton-area Hot Head Burritos locations.

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Other local bricks-and-mortar restaurants launched by food trucks include Zombie Dogz on Brown Street near the University of Dayton, Flyby BBQ in the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek, and The Vistro Modern Vietnamese on Linden Avenue across from the Eastown Shopping Center in Riverside.

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