Hunger N Thirst Craft Beer and Provisions offers a unique experience. It’s really three businesses under one roof — a gastropub, bottle shop and specialty food marketplace — that support one another. That sentiment mirrors its owners, Andrew and Dave Neff.
“The focus is artisan-quality food and beer,” Andrew explains. “We enjoy food so much; that’s why we wanted to open a restaurant,” Dave adds. “We’ve talked about it for a long time, but in 2009 we started taking it seriously. It took us quite some time to find just the right location for what we wanted to do.”
Food is part of the Neff brothers’ heritage – their parents, Sam and Nancy Neff, have been part of the county’s food scene for years; Sam is the former co-owner of S. Clyde Weaver Meats and Cheeses, a family business that dates to 1920.
The brothers’ restaurant/retail facility also draws on the their own experience in the food and hospitality industry. Dave is a Johnson & Wales graduate, while Andrew is a home brewer and former touring musician. The two are very much visable and hands-on owners.
The four-year-old business makes its home in a former warehouse, which provides the perfect backdrop for the modern, industrial feel the brothers envisioned for their multifaceted business.
The Gastropub features two levels – the main floor seats about 60 in a space that features an exposed brick wall and windows that admit lots of natural light. The mezzanine level, which seats about 14, does double-duty: It serves as overflow seating on weekends and is available for private parties during the week. Tables in both areas were handcrafted by a local artisan using wood from sycamore and maple trees. The curved, copper bar top was also crafted by an area artisan.
There’s also a patio for warm-weather dining; it seats about 24. “The landscaping has grown in, so it’s really private there – you don’t realize you’re right off the Harrisburg Pike,” Dave says. “We even have a fresh herb garden there.”
The menu changes seasonally in order to take advantage of the freshest ingredients that are available. Everything – including soups – is made in-house daily from scratch using small batch, artisanal ingredients. For example, some popular items from the winter menu included tuna tartare tacos, duck carbonara and pan-seared trout. The new spring menu will launch this month, Daily specials are also available, plus there’s always a burger on the menu. The chef’s board is also a menu staple. Again, the selection of artisanal cheeses and charcuterie varies from week to week. Oysters are featured the first Thursday of the month. Special events are held throughout the year. “The menu isn’t large, but everything is really great. Our kitchen staff is tremendous; they take great pride in the presentation,” Dave says.
Craft brews – 24 brews are on tap – make a great accompaniment to the menu items. If your taste is more for wine, cocktails and spirits, they’re available as well. If you’re undecided about which craft brew or other libation to pair with your meal, Hunger N Thirst’s staff are always available to provide some great suggestions.
If you’ve sampled something you like in the Gastropub, you may be able to purchase it in the Marketplace or the Bottle Shop. Approximately half of the Gastropub items are available in the Marketplace, and the Bottle Shop stocks more than 200 beers (nano, micro, craft and imported). The one-stop concept is customer-friendly: “If you like a cheese from our cheeseboard or one of our brews, you can buy it here; you don’t have to search for it at another place,” Andrew explains.
The Neff brothers are excited to see Lancaster’s restaurant scene expand and take pride in being part of that growth. “Lancaster has become a destination, not just for Gallery Row, but also for the vibrant restaurant scene,” Dave says.
Hunger N Thirst is located at 920 Landis Ave., Lancaster. Gastropub hours are Tuesday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-12 a.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Reservations are suggested. Marketplace hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Bottle Shop hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 717-208-3808, hungernthirst.com and on Facebook.