Downtown Update

By Jason Leach
Published July 30, 2007

Down on King East, the Village continues to hum along with several new openings and renovations underway.

The once crummy block between Wellington and Spring is now full of life, other than Denningers massive eyesore at King and Wellington.

Three 16 Lounge is open and doing a great business. Great vibe and menu.

Buildings to the east now include a web development firm, a real estate agent and another reno underway. Across the street two more buildings have been purchased. Renos are underway in the building that houses YaMan for upper floor apartments and a new commercial space at ground level.

Between this building and the Freeway Cafe, Village Music is set to open soon.

Arts Hamilton is finally moving out of Jackson Square and into new digs in the Village. They will be open next door to Brownies Downtown Fine Food and Spirit.

The Book Villa is changing names and moving next door to make way for a new artists co-op and gallery in their old space.

Maxims Deli Cafe at King and Walnut is open and fabulous. Great cappuccino is now available in the Village! Immediately behind Maxims is the Parisian Artists Lofts. The lofts are quickly being leased and the reno job was well done.

Don't forget about the Mustard Festival coming up at Ferguson Ave during Labour Day weekend.

Thai Memory is open on King William at James. It's an amazing reno job, and I've been told the food is fabulous.

Liason College is moving to King East as part of the Ramada/Crowne Plaza reno. They will be in the new conference centre.

James North continues to see more building renovations. No word yet on new shops/galleries although at least one new gallery is apparently on the way.

Little Green Tree is moving from Burlington to downtown Hamilton in the old Reggie's School of Music location on John North.

Locke South

On Locke Street the search continues for a buyer for the Bad Dog and building. A few folks are kicking the tires as we speak. Let's all hope for someone who will keep this Hamilton institution open!

Rumours persist that Judy Marsales is opening a new real estate office in the old CIBC bank on Locke.

Live jazz is coming to Nina's Bistro. Let's hope this becomes a regular event.

More rumours - this time that Starbucks has locked up the old Robert David space.

A new Irish pub is said to be coming to John and Augusta in the old Raven location. Let's hope for a nice patio on Augusta.

It sounds like Ray's Boathouse is opening a new eatery on Locke South. The Perfect Wing and Burger shake and malt shop is opening soon across from the Locke Street Bakery.

Let's hope local residents don't hate wings and burgers as much as they hate crepes. This will be a very welcome addition to Locke and the folks at Ray's have a great reputation.

Up the Escarpment

Finally, I saw a pile of these signs last night on Scenic Dr. The sign has pictures of ugly "commie blocks" with a cross-out line through them.

Their website does a good job of trying to take an 'environmental' angle and make it sound like residents want to see this area protected as some wildlife reserve. In actual fact, they want a gazillion single family homes and associated four car driveways and two car garages to be built.

Hopefully the city holds their ground and realizes the potential of such a great site overlooking the city close to downtown and easy biking access to downtown. From this location it's about a 10-15 minute ride to Locke South and Hess Village.

Jason Leach was born and raised in the Hammer and currently lives downtown with his wife and children. You can follow him on twitter.


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By DC83 (anonymous) | Posted July 30, 2007 at 22:58:23

According to Peter at Locke Street Bakery (I think he's the owner's son), Starbucks is no longer a "rumour" but full-out fact!
They will be opening in the Robert David clothier shop!

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By JohnLocke (anonymous) | Posted July 31, 2007 at 00:10:08

Whatever happens with Starbucks, I really hope someone buys the Bad Dog and keeps it running. Their coffee is the best in the business, hands down.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 31, 2007 at 02:16:49

If Judy Marsales opens an office on Locke, you'd better pray she keeps it up better than she keeps up her shabby office in Westdale. Fading, peeling signs and paint, cracked pavement with weeds, garbage stuck in the shrubbery and the small gap between the next building, planters that feature weeds for most of the year, etc. And all this from people who ought to know a thing or two about curb appeal. I don't know how they hold their heads up. Maybe she's letting the Westdale office go because she's planning to move it to Locke. If that's the case, sorry about your luck.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted July 31, 2007 at 11:02:47

I believe the marsales office is beyond rumour -- some agents will work there but the westdale office will remain. As part of that move, the westdale office is supposed to be completely overhauled, so perhaps that is the reason that it has become less than pretty lately, highwater -- they have been waiting for this move in order to get things done right.

I believe the pub at john and augusta is being opened by a long time slainte bartender. The building looks perfect for it, and I can't wait to see the final product

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By mark (registered) | Posted July 31, 2007 at 12:24:46

Marsales office on Locke is definitely a reality. Actually, it's kinda old news. Please refer to Andrew Dreschels's July 13th Spec column on Marsales' "retirement" as a Hamilton-area MPP. The final paragraph reads as follows:

"Her company is opening a third real estate office in September at the former CIBC building at Locke and Herkimer, which was donated to the city but declared surplus. Bought through a bidding process, Marsales envisions making it her flagship site."

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By jason (registered) | Posted July 31, 2007 at 13:17:13

I generally don't get further than the first paragraph in Dreschel's columns, never mind the final paragraph.

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By highwater (registered) | Posted July 31, 2007 at 13:49:02

I hope you're right, Sean. "Less than pretty" is an understatement. There's no "lately" about it, though. It's been a mess for a few years now.

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By mark (registered) | Posted July 31, 2007 at 13:54:13

Oops, sorry about the extra post. Refreshed the screen and it re-posted my comment.

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By Mark (registered) | Posted August 01, 2007 at 21:14:09

jason if you don't read Dreschel's column, how do you hear about all the wonderful things DiIanni is doing for the city?

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By trey (registered) | Posted August 02, 2007 at 12:11:33

Good news about Little Green Tree.... this likely has something to do with Dan Banko.

Regarding Marsales... just sell your house privately... lawyers do all the work anyway.

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By jason (registered) | Posted August 02, 2007 at 12:21:18

actually, found out yesterday that Little Green Tree isn't closing their Burlington office, just moving a new one to John North. Still good news. A definite creative cluster is beginning to take shape downtown along both spines of James and both ends of King.

I guess I can't use the word 'cluster' can I? The city uses that word to describe new jobs way outside of the city that are never coming.

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By upset (anonymous) | Posted November 13, 2007 at 16:48:48

I think that we have lost our priorities in life especially since we seem to value concrete and ashphalt over trees and grass. It is absolutely pathetic and disgusting. What is wrong with people? I'd like to tell the builder of this proposed condo crap to take a hike and go ruin your own neighborhood leave ours alone! We are going to end up with no green space left and people and animals suffering maybe even dying because of it. God help us all!!! Man knows only destruction- like a virus they move in and take over everything, destroying everything in their wake- Friends,neighbors take up your arms and fight!!

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