Dining With Denise Neil

Downtown restaurant seized for failure to pay taxes

The Hungry Heart at 222 S. Commerce has been closed by the state for failure to pay taxes.
The Hungry Heart at 222 S. Commerce has been closed by the state for failure to pay taxes. The Wichita Eagle

The Hungry Heart, the restaurant and brewery just northeast of Intrust Bank Arena at 222 S. Commerce, has closed. The reason: failure to pay taxes.

A sign posted in the door by the Kansas Department of Revenue says that the property “has been temporarily seized for nonpayment of taxes and is now in the possession of the state of Kansas.”

Court filings show that four tax warrants were issued on Oct. 21. The restaurant owes a total of $39,875 in taxes.

John David Payne and Cody Hibarger opened the restaurant in late 2014, serving a menu of Asian-inspired pub food and upscale barbecue. They later added a brewery.

The restaurant’s owners haven’t yet responded to messages about the future of Hungry Heart. But a post on the restaurant’s Facebook page from Saturday says: “We apologize for the inconvenience but we will be closed for a few days starting this weekend and through next week until we get some matters worked out. We sincerely appreciate the great people that have supported us and have become dear friends to us. As soon as we know more information we will let you know.”

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