News

Locke Street Building Demolished

By Ryan McGreal
Published September 04, 2012

The owner of the West Town bar on Locke Street South has just demolished the building at 210 Locke Street South, right next to the bar.

Demolished building at 210 Locke Street South
Demolished building at 210 Locke Street South

According to a report just posted to the Spectator, West Town owner Brandon Stanicak demolished the building to make room for an outdoor patio and to renovate the bar's kitchen and bathroom.

In the meantime, the space will be used as a beer garden at this coming weekend's Locke Street Festival.

A demolition permit was issued on August 29.

Closeup of the demolished site
Closeup of the demolished site

The one-storey building most recently held the No Excuse fitness and training centre, and was previously home to Picks & Sticks music store, which has since moved to the old church on 140 Locke Street South.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By jds (registered) | Posted September 04, 2012 at 20:34:20

Renovate the bathrooms? Now who takes the prize as the most disgusting bathroom in Hamilton?

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 04, 2012 at 20:49:47

YES, the Hess on Locke crowd is back! Lol. Travel the world and the best cities have great patios all over the place. Yes, it's nice to have fun in a city once in a while. I hope this patio is as nice as it sounds in their plans...the city should demand it. I'm sure the world won't end because a patio opened in Hamilton.

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted September 04, 2012 at 20:59:43

This is the same lovely person who fought against less monopolistic food truck laws. Then called me names on Facebook when I told him it was a reason I wouldn't be visiting the restaurant again.

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By Swift (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 05:00:16 in reply to Comment 80424

Ah, the old sticks-and-stones vs. bricks-and-mortar dilemma. This is why I have no problem with the demolition of buildings associated with unpleasant people or unenlightened historic periods. They probably had it coming.

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By Brahmin (anonymous) | Posted September 04, 2012 at 22:12:19

Paperwork, regulation, oversight, all apparently in place. It can happen in any neighbourhood (or, as in the case of James North, several times in the last decade). It doesn't have to be a negative. Best of luck to Locke 3.0.

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By Despite the fact... (anonymous) | Posted September 04, 2012 at 23:58:58

Despite the fact that I love the idea of more patios in Hamilton, there's something wrong when demolitions can occur in a week and getting anything built takes years. Too bad we need to gap tooth a street to enjoy a beer outside.

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By bboy (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 01:00:04

This looks like a good thing for Locke St... I just looked at the demolished building in google maps street view, and it was nothing I'll miss or would remember.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 05, 2012 at 06:01:14 in reply to Comment 80430

I'll call it a good thing for Locke Street if a new building of at least 3-4 storeys goes in its place.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 06:57:07

It'll be nice to have a large patio for the West Town. Something they've sorely needed for a while. Now if only they could update the extremely tired interior (most of the booths on the east side are a mishmash of patterns and fabrics, and have places where the fabric is threadbare or torn. The colour scheme's gotta go too. But they had absolutely fantastic nachos when we were there in July.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 05, 2012 at 08:28:01

West Town - the only place in the city where a $7 sandwich consists of a mediocre creation on wonderbread plunked all by itself in the middle of a giant white plate without even a pickle on the side. I guess it's too much to ask for 50 cents worth of potatoes to be included.

How is it possible that there's nowhere good to eat in this city after 8pm?

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By brodiec (registered) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 15:19:49 in reply to Comment 80439

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Comment edited by brodiec on 2012-09-05 15:21:14

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By glue (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 16:21:34 in reply to Comment 80502

As a woman I'm used to being objectified by heterosexual men, but now I have to be objectified by gay men too? Great.

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By Verso (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 15:38:46 in reply to Comment 80502

"As a gay dude it's super insulting and lame to be waited on by a pair of clueless tits instead of a competent person."

Fascinating! I hadn't noticed it before but as a heterosexual I am completely oblivious to shabby service, and incompetent staff is not insulting in the least.

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By Gourmand (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 09:07:55 in reply to Comment 80439

"How is it possible that there's nowhere good to eat in this city after 8pm?"

I call hyperbole. Here are a bunch in Ward 1-2:

Black Forest Inn until 9-10pm
Boo's Bistro until 9-10pm
My Thai until 9-10pm
Wild Orchid until 9pm/12am
Kampai until 9-10:30pm
1010 Bistro until 9:30pm
Flavour of Himalaya until 9:30pm
Zum Linzer until 9:30pm
Gate of India until 10pm
La Piazza until 10pm
Lo Presti's until 10pm
Koi until 10pm
August 8 until 10:30
La Cantina until 11pm
Acclamation until 10-12pm

All eminently serviceable.

Slainte's batting average is higher than most people suspect, and their kitchen runs pretty late.

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By brendansimons (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 01:20:12 in reply to Comment 80443

There certainly isn't much after 10:00 (which is when I finish at the gym on Wednesdays). So far, my best choices have been:

West Town (but you can only take so much of it) One Duke Augusta House

There's basically nothing else if you want a full meal and a pub atmosphere that late.

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By brendansimons (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 01:22:20 in reply to Comment 80566

I could add Ray's Boathouse I suppose, but they don't offer much in the way of vegetarian, which keeps my gym buddy away unfortunately.

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By Gourmand (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 09:08:46 in reply to Comment 80443

Merp. Zum Linzer is Ward 3.

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By Gourmand (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 09:10:01 in reply to Comment 80444

Also "Acclamation until 10pm-12am"

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 05, 2012 at 11:45:03 in reply to Comment 80445

Get me an IPA at any of these places and we'll be getting somewhere!

You are right, I did stretch it. I have most trouble after 9, not after 8. Showing up to most places after 9 means either a closed kitchen or reduced menu. Here's what I'm after - good beer and good meals served til 11. It's slim pickins!

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By Gullet (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 12:26:21 in reply to Comment 80456

Chuck's is open until 10pm and allegedly soon-to-be-licensed.

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By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 07:31:32 in reply to Comment 80463

They've been 'soon to be licensed' since they opened over a year ago. I'll believe it when they get a location (or expand) to include comfortable seating.

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By Gullet (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 12:24:17 in reply to Comment 80456

Wimpy's 24/7/365/FL

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 05, 2012 at 14:03:12 in reply to Comment 80462

I NEED MY IPA THOUGH! If I'm eating that late it means it was a hard working day and I deserve my Mad Tom or Boneshaker while I wait for my food :-)

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By Gullet (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 14:10:32 in reply to Comment 80481

You'll have to settle for The Ship. Or ice a six in your pannier bag.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 05, 2012 at 14:14:05 in reply to Comment 80486

Hey I love the ship but no food after 830-9 sadly. The thing is, if I have my act together early, I make my own dinner. I usually only eat out if I've run out of time. And then it's an IPA-less torment!

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By alghor (anonymous) | Posted September 07, 2012 at 00:43:42 in reply to Comment 80487

oh just ditch your hipster hopped up IPA and drink a lager and eat some barbecue at Rolly Rockets at 11.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 07, 2012 at 23:12:10 in reply to Comment 80664

I just walked past there at 11 and man, the joint is hopping! Lots of people taking your advice it would appear.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 07, 2012 at 17:14:26 in reply to Comment 80664

Hey I can't help having a palate so finely tuned to the sweet bitterness of lupulin.

If I'm gonna invest in my beer gut I want to be able to taste what's fattening me up!

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By Graefe (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 09:02:35

I love a patio, and am happy to see many more in Hamilton than a decade ago.

It remains that empty spaces on streets break up the streetscape and make it less appealing to walk along.

I don't mind the demolition if it results in placing a two or three storey building that intensifies the use of the street. I do mind if we downgrade the streetscape and de-intensify the street, simply for a patio that will be used for half the year. Hopefully the city uses its various powers to prevent that from happening, although I must admit that I am losing hope in their rigour.

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By Frankenrogers (registered) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 09:44:25

I noticed it last night walking home from work and it was pretty crazy that it was there on my walk to work and gone when I got home 12 hours later.

I'm divided on this. We are absolutely missing some outside flavour on this street and patios really bring a street to life. Beyond NaRoma and The Courtyard's backyard patio there is nowhere on the street to enjoy outside and people watch. I live around the corner and I can sit in my backyard, but sometimes I don't feel like inviting a large group of friends to my house after sports or moving etc.

That all said, I agree with the comment above that it stinks that a building had to disappear to accommodate this. I won't necessarily miss the building but the gap really sticks out and I was hoping that some more retail would be opening up on the street in that spot. Hopefully they board up the back so you have a visual wall to block the alley and fill it somehow in the winter to not make it as empty.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 09:58:17 in reply to Comment 80447

the KNA has nobody to blame but themselves for this. The West Town wanted a patio in the completely logical spot next to the old Kataya store. The NIMBY's did their thing, and now this is the result.

Comment edited by jason on 2012-09-05 09:58:36

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By ToAllTheKnowItAlls (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 19:24:54 in reply to Comment 80449

So your saying west town's logical spot was beside Kataya? They own the Kataya building! Where else would a patio go? They'll be a walkout in the section to the north inside west town it's perfect!

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 22:44:13 in reply to Comment 80522

He owned the Kataya building and wanted a patio in the space on the side of the building along Chatham (I think that's the street). The KNA had it defeated, and now that space is adorned with 3-4 cars everyday instead.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 11:00:23 in reply to Comment 80449

It wasn't that simple, Joe had one application in to LCBO, a different application in to the city and made an even different presentation to the public, it got difficult to trust which version of his plan was the real one.

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By jason (registered) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 13:31:23 in reply to Comment 80452

I certainly don't know all the details, but I know enough of the NIMBYism that goes on around here to have no problem believing he was trying to do the Hamilton dance. What should be a straightforward proposal gets mucked up by the crazy Hess on Locke crowd.

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By ThisIsOurHamilton (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 05:23:41 in reply to Comment 80471

"...but I know enough of the NIMBYism that goes on around here..."

Once again raising the question of how much influence/input 'locals' should have in the development of their own neighbourhood. What's the balance? What's 'reasonable'? Should 'locals' be able to dictate to an enormous extent what happens on their streets? (If so, then the one-way/two-way reversion should be pretty straightforward, if there's clear support) If you have an anchor business in an area...such as West Town...for a quarter-century, I'd have thought that their goodwill and community cachet should mean something. Fears about 'Hess Villaging' Locke are, to me, in the same category as those who maintain with clenched fists that we'll be going to Hell in a communal, gridlocked handbasket if we revert some of our one-way thoroughfares.

As was mentioned in the Opinions section op-ed by Premi and Shaker, http://www.thespec.com/opinion/columns/a... we need better discussions to address such situations, discussions in-person, not online.

Comment edited by ThisIsOurHamilton on 2012-09-06 05:24:38

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted September 05, 2012 at 14:03:42 in reply to Comment 80471

Keep your voice down, some people are trying to have a nap DAAAGNABBIT

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By ToAllTheKnowItAlls (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 19:18:27

Picks & sticks moved to a great location, that building needed to come down. If any of you know Brandon at all you'd know he'll never allow Hess on Locke to happen in his Bar &Grill. West Town is West Town because of the decor! Do you go to Wasterbrooks and say these tables and stools need to go? Do you go to Hutches on the beach strip and say why do they keep these old dusty photos hanging up?

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By ToAllTheKnowItAlls (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 19:20:30

Sorry iPhone auto correct - Easterbrooks

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By Kevin (registered) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 22:41:20

Rose-Ann, who works at the West Town, is the best waitress in Hamilton, probably Ontario, perhaps the country, maybe the world.

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By lockestreetfan (anonymous) | Posted September 05, 2012 at 22:47:22

Recently I saw Gorilla Cheese at the Locke Street Art Market and thought that it was the best thing that happened on Locke Street in awhile. Whoever arrange that to happen should be given credit in helping to bring more culture to a street controlled by a handful of property owners and business friends that wants to block out the competition and make life difficult for any person that do not believe in their way of thinking.

It is already difficult for an individual to set up a new venture 'legally' without having your neighbours bitching about everything you do because they may lose a few sales. Maybe they need to focus on their business and product mix and stop worrying about what other property owners and businesses are doing to promote their businesses.

thats all . . .



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By ToAllTheKnowItAlls (anonymous) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 20:08:51 in reply to Comment 80557

insult spam deleted

Comment edited by administrator Ryan on 2012-09-11 20:59:56

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By Perspective Swick (anonymous) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 01:31:31

I understand Westtown is the best real working man bar in the city and James North is just full of elitist artists and hipsters.

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By brendansimons (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 01:48:51 in reply to Comment 80568

A superb bit of trolling, but only one person here is calling one group better than another. Stop being so elitist.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 09:58:16 in reply to Comment 80569

Pretty sure that was a satirical riff on this.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted September 06, 2012 at 10:28:45 in reply to Comment 80593

Incidentally, Sheryl Nadler had an insightful take on that matter.

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By Too Radical? (anonymous) | Posted September 06, 2012 at 10:13:55

Reduce on street parking to extend the sidewalks out for patios and plants (like Peterborough did with Hunter Street if anyone's familiar) and partner with some of those proposing condos in the area to provide some public parking --- underground where it belongs. Too radical? It's been done successfully elsewhere.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted September 07, 2012 at 21:56:38

That's going to be one ugly, claustrophobic patio. There is absolutely no vista view, just two blank walls and a tiny view onto the street. Why couldn't he have built a rooftop patio instead?

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By ViennaCafe (registered) | Posted September 08, 2012 at 03:02:01

One of the aspects that has made Locke successful is its walkability and any walkability study will inform that creating gaps in the streetscape, for parking or patios, hurts the walkability.

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By GT (anonymous) | Posted September 08, 2012 at 09:42:55

I think if Joe had posted the Demolition Permit publically, the reaction by locals might have been a little more positive. The issue that we neighbours have with Joe is that his story keeps changing.

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By TreyS (registered) | Posted September 08, 2012 at 23:45:04

sorry I can't agree that demolishing a building for a lame patio -- useful for 30% of the year -- is improving the street's livability. That patio will not be well used. Besides I prefer to be in the interior of restaurant in the hvac and enjoying the company I'm with, rather than sitting outside in skortching hot 33-degrees or freezing 9-degrees weather.... watching around because the company I'm with can;t keep my attention beyond, "So ya, so you know, I was like ..... totally"

This is not good for Locke. The only good thing is when he realizes the mistake the patio gap tooth was will be infilled with a 6-storey residential building, with ground floor LoSo retail.

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By Shempatolla (registered) - website | Posted September 12, 2012 at 20:46:41

The building in question was nothing more than a barely serviceable shack with dangerous electrical. It won't be missed. A patio on Locke will be a nice addition. The Westown actually has amazing food. Ask to see the daily specials. They will suprise you.

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