Let me start off by saying I”M SORRY. My pictures of our meal at Payne’s have been deleted in the all too common iPhone update scenario. Instead, I’ve borrowed some photos from paynescoffeeandcustard.com
After visiting the James Dean Gallery (which you should all do once in your life), we were feeling a bit peckish. The operator of the gallery offered up Payne’s Restaurant. He said the owner had originally come from the UK for the James Dean Festival held every September and loved the area so much he stayed. Payne’s owner had started off by opening a coffee shop but after it became so popular, expanded it into an entire restaurant. Lenny described it as and eccentric place based on all the owners travels and said the food was too good to miss since it was already on our way home.
Payne’s is located right off the exit in Gas City and with the giant billboard towering nearby, it was hard to miss. The very first thing that caught my attention was the restaurant’s sign out front. It was only the beginning.
As we entered the restaurant, I made a mental note to copy the DIY macrame wall hanging in their entryway. We were seated by a man in a tuxedo vest, french braided man bun, and handlebar mustache and Jason was over-the-moon about it. There was a galaxy painting on one wall, black and white Kate Spade styled stripes on another way, and thick wood benches, pews, and tables all over the room. Exposed beams gave it a rustic feel while the children’s books with the menus (and full stories) inside gave you a feeling that you might be Alice and you’re lost in wonderland.
While the outside seating wasn’t open yet, we decided this would be a fun little day trip in the summer while out on the bike. They have been known to have live music and a number of cocktails to choose from.
We ogled over the mismatched crystal glasses, silverware, and plateware. We took in the eccentric paint theme and decor. Then we FINALLY ordered. I got the fish and chips with a cup of roasted red pepper and tomato soup. Everything was delicious and we were upset that we were too full for dessert. It was a little more upscale and pricey than we were expecting but would go again (especially for a special occasion) and definitely an upgraded surprise for those who were expecting soggy diner food on the side of Highway 69.