ST. GEORGE — The vision for Hive 435, a new tap house located at 61 W. St George Blvd, and open from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week, came to owner Cameron Payne three years ago.
“I saw a need for nightlife in St. George,” Payne told St. George News. “There were no upscale places where you could take your date, or conduct business, without having to be in a family friendly environment.”
So Payne decided to open his own. Of course, it wasn’t that simple. While the city approved Payne’s bid to open one of four drinking establishments in the Arts District, he’d unwittingly signed his lease a week before COVID-19 shuttered businesses throughout St. George.
“We backpedaled on the lease,” Payne said. “But the property management team was very supportive. I count them among those who helped me turn this dream into a reality.”
Payne bills Hive 435 as a tap house. They’ve got over 30 beers on tap, a broad selection of liquors and cocktails to choose from, served by a team of bartenders who aim to please. But Payne, who attended Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon, before spending 15 years cooking in various Las Vegas kitchens, takes pride in their food offerings.
“We’ve got great bruschetta plates,” Payne said. “Our pizzas are excellent when paired with our salads. We’ve also got sandwiches. It’s bar food with a flair.”
During the day, Hive 435 is brightened by large windows that open onto St. George Boulevard. There are TVs hung near the ceiling. There’s also a dart room.
“We want to create a welcoming atmosphere,” Payne said. “We want to create the standard for a high-end establishments in St. George.”
Of the competition – Wood Ash Rye is next door, and Station No. 2 is a short walk to the north – Payne said he’s not worried.
“The more, the merrier,” he said. “St. George needs to embrace more local entrepreneurs who make and sell unique things. The more of us there are, the more people will visit the area. That will make it possible for more businesses to thrive.”
Among the more unique items on Hive 435’s menu is the Smoked Old-fashioned. Payne wasn’t interested in sharing the recipe, which he and his brother concocted, but he’s more than happy to serve the drink to anyone old enough to buy it. It should be noted, you must be 21 or older to enter.
Bartender Devin Bishoff, who’s been working at Hive 435 for two weeks, said it took him a solid day to learn to make the drink, which is served in a glass that leans.
“I tell people that, when the glass looks straight, I’ve got to cut them off,” Bishoff joked.
Bishoff said that he was working at Olive Garden when he met Payne, who invited Bishoff to join the staff at Hive 435.
“I like the idea of working at a real bar,” Bishoff said. “Cameron said I wouldn’t have to take any tables, and it’s been nice to work in a more adult-centered scene.”
When he opened his doors for business, Payne said he felt great.
“A lot of gray hairs went into this,” Payne said. “We want St. George to feel comfortable with us, and with our presence. There are lots of responsible adults here, who want to have fun. We’re proud to serve them.”
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