Carrie Rengers

Hungry Heart & WHOLE Brewing Co. to open in former Jettys Pizza space

On the heels of a deal for the former Walkers Bar & Venue space – Lou’s Charcuteria and Bar is opening there in November – there’s now a deal for the former Jettys Pizza space next door, too.

John David Payne and Cody Hibarger are opening the Hungry Heart & WHOLE Brewing Co. on South Commerce Street to the east of Intrust Bank Arena.

“It’s going to be a gastropub and microbrewery,” Payne says. “We’re going to be brewing beer on site.”

He says they’ll regularly have six to eight craft beers.

WHOLE stands for Wichita’s House of Living Elixirs.

“We’re taking the idea of beer and spirits as a type of elixir,” Payne says. “Throughout history and civilization, beer and bread have gone hand in hand with thriving civilizations, basically.”

The Fort Scott native most recently has been living in California.

“I always wanted to start up a restaurant out in California,” Payne says.

“It’s very expensive to start a business in California,” he says. “I went to work for corporate America.”

Payne previously worked in restaurants and says he’s passionate about food, but most recently he’s been in business management.

“I’ve been taught how to start and run a business from the ground up,” he says.

Payne says he moved to Wichita to be closer to family, but he says he also wanted “to bring some of the flavor of (the) West Coast to Wichita.”

“We’re going to be doing a fusion of West Coast pub-style food with a blend of barbecue,” he says.

That includes Hawaiian-style tuna, fresh fish tacos and Asian chicken wings, all with various types of barbecue sauce.

Payne describes the Hungry Heart as finer dining but still casual.

The 4,500-square-foot space will have about 170 seats.

Like Lou’s, the Hungry Heart will open sometime in November, most likely the middle of the month. Look for more details closer to the opening.

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.