The heat is on at new restaurant on Walton’s West Street

earlier this year, jake and lisa davies decided to spice up their lives.

the couple launched packin heat bar & grill at 38 west st. in walton, in july.

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jake, 45, a hancock native but walton resident of 20 years, said owning a restaurant was a return to his hotel roots for him, while lisa, 44, brought years from experience. Lisa, he said, “came back to the area about eight years ago.” Though the two dated in high school, Lisa said, 20 years passed between then and when they “revived.”

“About twenty years ago, I went to hotel management school, but then my life changed and I started doing different things,” Jake said. “lisa worked in kitchens all through high school and college, then she started teaching, but this opportunity came up and we said, ‘let’s go for it.'” Ella Lisa said that she continues to work as a full-time special education teacher.

True to its name, Lisa said, Packin Heat offers “typical bar and grill food, but with the opportunity to spice it up.”

“We wanted something different in the walton area, and a lot of people said, ‘there’s nowhere you can go to have them add spice or heat to your food,'” he said. “So we came up with the basic menu, then three levels of dry rub, and you can add that to any item, so the flavors work on their own or with any of the dry rubs.”

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There are also savory, no-heat options for most menu items, Lisa said.

While customer favorites have emerged since opening, Lisa and Jake said, they plan to keep things varied and, whenever possible, available nearby.

“everyone loves our mac and cheese and we offer three different types,” said lisa. “so we have five burgers, but the two that are really our best sellers are the bacon maple jam and our french onion burger. we try to source as much of our stuff locally as we can; All of our beef is sourced from Komar Farms in Meridale, specializing in American Waygu.

“another thing we do that is very different from most of the restaurants here is that we not only have our regular menu, but we also have our specialty menu that comes out every other week, and it will have a certain theme” . She continued. “We offer that in addition to our regular menu, and we’ve done New York City street food, a southern barbecue week, and a jalapeno week. and there’s only one other place in walton for sunday breakfast… so we do more of a brunch feel and we also do special menus with that (special waffles, stuffed french toast) and every week we change it up.”

“We also do in-house smoked brisket, which we usually run out of by the end of the week,” Jake said, noting that Packin Heat offers a brisket entree and brisket sandwich. “and all of our sauces, our dry marinades, our salad dressings, and all of our desserts are made in-house. we try to do everything right there; there is nothing processed, nothing brought.”

jake and lisa said such a varied menu has produced a diverse and wide-ranging clientele.

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“Jake has a great group of friends, so we post things on the ‘packin heat’ (facebook) page, but we also share them on our personal pages, and that reaches a lot of people. jake has a lot of connections in hancock and we’ve had people from oneonta, greene, otego; they have heard of us and travel. we have many people from new york city who have become our clients… and the city’s mayor has been very supportive along the way. we’ve had a lot of positive reviews and things like that.”

“We’ve started to see a lot of regulars coming in once or twice a week, or twice a day for some,” Jake said.

lisa and jake said they hope to respond to community support in the same way.

“We’ve been thinking about, on weeknights, doing trivia nights and in the summer playing live bands during the day, so people have something to do during the day,” Jake said. “And we’re thinking of doing a bike night.”

“We want to do things that will attract more members of the community,” Lisa said. “We have offered different sports groups to do fundraising events here and we offer the space for different companies, if they need a performance space, and we donate to different fundraising events. we just plan to try to do more and elevate things and access more and more people and keep them coming back.”

packin heat is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. m. to 2 p.m. m. Sundays; 11 a.m. to 9 a.m., Tuesday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 10 a.m., Friday and Saturday; and Monday closed.

for more information, search for “packin heat bar & grill” on facebook or visit

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