This has been a busy summer in downtown Hamilton with several reno projects, properties changing hands and many announcements of future projects.
Now that we're into the sunny dog days of summer I thought it would be a good time for a quick sampling of news from downtown Hamilton.
Lissa's Bistro (yes, that's with two esses) is opening soon on Augusta St in Hamilton's fastest growing dining/patio district. There will be a patio, but no word yet on menu items or style.
Gallaghers Pub at John and Augusta is getting rave reviews and has now opened a patio. Word is the menu will gradually expand to offer more food choices. I love the sliding 'garage door' facing John St.
Still on Augusta, check out the new mural on the exterior wall of the Cat N Fiddle. Awesome job to all involved.
One block south, the former Imperial Coiffures space is being turned into a little diner with homecooked food and takeout service. I'm already salivating. Now let's just hope they keep the incredible facade and signage on this great little building.
Moetion Productions is moving their head office from Copps Coliseum to the old Zacks Furniture store on King East in the International Village. Again, I hope the folks in charge will preserve the incredible Zacks sign which looks amazing from the window seat across the street at Three16 Lounge.
Speaking of Three16 Lounge, they now officially have the coolest patio in Hamilton. The back courtyard is a beautiful spot in the middle of downtown Hamilton. Be sure you check it out while the weather is warm.
Further north on Ferguson one can't help but be impressed with the gradual transformation in the Barton/Ferguson area. Take a walk or bike ride over the new Ferguson Ave bridge (great job by the city on the design) and check out the view of the new David Braley Cardiac Research building as well as the soon to open Mark Preece House on Barton. Hamilton continues to evolve into a research centre and the impacts on our economy and image are nothing short of spectacular.
The Gown and Gavel is finally re-opened and worth the wait. Those pining for an authentic pub experience should stick to Augusta St or the Celidh House. The G&G is pub no more. It's sleek and comfortable with some great interior reno work done to both homes making this a spot that will be busy all year long, not just during patio season.
The London Tap House continues to cram them in. I've had little success getting a seat on the rooftop patio this summer save for once on a blistering day back in June.
No confirmation, but rumours persist of a new Italian Bistro taking over the former Infusions space at the Gore.
Still in the Gore, the downtown BIA is slowly coming around to the idea of pedestrianizing the south leg of King. They've agreed to do it on a temporary basis. Most observers agree that it won't ever live up to its full potential until it is closed permanently and local businesses can set up patios, booths and live music acts in the Gore. In a downtown dominated by cars and parking lots, let's hope this tiny two-block stretch with virtually no traffic can become the true heart of the city for people to gather and enjoy themselves.
Downtown Bike Hounds is opening at Cannon and James. It is the first bike shop in downtown Hamilton! Better late than never!
Also, Mixed Media is moving to James and Cannon in September. There's lots of action happening on James North so stay tuned.
Finally, I'm pleased to inform you that the Bad Dog Cafe is set to re-open in their former location on Locke St. No word on an opening, but the place is slowly being put back together and should open soon.
That'll do for now. Yes, I said a 'mini' downtown update. There's too much happening to keep up with these days and that's a good thing!
Sorry to those I didn't get to, but a final few reminders - the >Art Gallery of Hamilton is currently showing a great exhibit of Asian art and culture, the James North Art Crawl in September should be a great one and the Fringe Festival continues downtown until August 24.
Editor's Note: RTH will be publishing several reviews of Fringe Festival performances over the next couple of days.
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