To Top

Community Highlights: Meet Adam Lampinstein of The Hayden

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adam Lampinstein.

Hi Adam, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I grew up in Dallas and after high school studied Advertising at the University of Kansas where I received my degree in 2001. I moved back to work in the industry in Dallas for about 5 years when it hit me that I wanted to be my own boss, and that the work I was doing in my field might not be my calling. Food and hospitality was my passion, and as the son of parents who both worked for themselves (including a mother that ran a catering business), I realized that opening a restaurant would be a great way to work in a field I really was passionate about. I quit my job, moved to Austin for Culinary School and never looked back. I worked in restaurants during school to learn the business firsthand, and after graduation, I moved to El Paso where my sister was living and who also wasn’t exactly happy with her career.

We decided to just go for it and open a neighborhood restaurant, called Ripe Eatery in 2007. It was a struggle at first, then after a few years we hit our stride and figured out what the hell we were doing (or learned how to fake it really good). After about 7 years we decided it was time to either expand or sell. Neither of us was from El Paso and we had gotten married and wanted to start our own families, so being closer to our parents in Georgetown, TX (and soon to be grandparents) was important. My wife got a job teaching in San Antonio and so we sold the business to another restaurateur and moved 8 hours West.

With The Hayden, I truly wanted to open what I envisioned as the ultimate cool kid neighborhood diner. That means a full bar, amazing from-scratch food with heavy culinary influence from my Jewish upbringing and love of the classic delicatessens, and a place that served both the high-brow and low-brow crowd. A place for everyone in the city to come together any time of the day – basically the classic American diner.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Well, opening in October of 2020 might have been the worst time to open a hospitality business. It has been one hell of a first year. Immediately after opening, occupancy levels dropped to 50% and no one was eating out. No one knew what was going to happen next. And then we had the election! It was a wild time for both myself and all my employees.

I was lucky to have landed such a high quality staff, most of whom had worked primarily in bars, which were having a harder time than restaurants were (as they were mostly all shut down). It was a staff that wanted to work, not stay home and collect unemployment if they could help it. But with no one dining out and spending money, it was hard for them to make ends meet. Thankfully the government did step in to help them balance work and make sure they could pay their bills (I could barely pay mine).

We all worked as a team and got through. Between mask mandate back and forths and pro-vaxers and anti-vaxxers, etc. it is not a year I care to repeat. But for a new business, we came out of it strong and lean and in a way found a silver lining in all the madness on how to operate no matter what.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Community means everything to us at The Hayden, a restaurant where everyone is welcome to come together. We’re a friendly space, where we mingle our deep love and respect for the classic Jewish delicatessen with the charming vibe of a South Texas diner.

With The Hayden, we set out to create an all-purpose (and eventually all-day) neighborhood spot where both food and cocktails will always be creative and thoughtful, just never overthought or fussy.

We want to serve you delicious food and deliver authentic hospitality; quite simply a reimagining of your typical old-school diner. Come to think of it, that is honestly why we got into this business in the first place.

The team at The Hayden is more than ready for you to take a seat, break some bread with us (we’d recommend the Pastrami & Swiss), and finally find a place that reminds you…we aren’t really so different from each other, after all.


  • Appetizers range from $9.99 – $14.99
  • Lunch and Dinner ranges from $8.99 – $26.99
  • Cocktails range from $8.99 – $10.99
  • Happy Hour is Tues-Fri from 3pm-6pm. $3 off house & classic cocktails, $4 pints of draft beer, $5 glasses of house white, red or bubbles.

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Kody Melton

Suggest a Story: VoyageSanAntonio is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Local Stories