Re-opening soon!

Specialty coffees, gourmet sweets.

Craft beer, select wines.

Fine fare & fine arts.

♥♥♥ Stay tuned for updates on our re-opening progress ♥♥♥

The Heart of the Hammer Cafe is moving.

After two years of living through the story arcs of many of you, the Heart of the Hammer is now taking a curve in its own story. After several notions to expand/grow/replicate the cafe, it turns out it is the project aspect that needs to grow so we are expanding into a larger space to accommodate not only the cafe but a Centre for Social Enterprise where we will work on making some of our dreams into sustainable features of our community.

Friday September 16th is the last day in our King St location so join us for the Last Hurragh. Open House all day: drop in to visit with friends and neighbours, tell stories, reminisce, eat, drink and be jolly.

Thanks to each of you who has been part of this adventure, another chapter in Learning Things the Hard Way. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have.


Sarah Botelho is a sixteen-year old singer-songwriter sensation and she’s playing right here tomorrow night. That’s Thursday August 11th at 8pm. Hailing from Ancaster, Ontario, her musical influences include The Beatles, Queen, Paramore, Coldplay and many more. She has just released her first album ‘The Bridge Is Breaking’ produced by Amy King (Grant Avenue Studio – Hamilton, Ontario).  Sarah’s CD is available at Chapters – Ancaster or check out the Music tab for downloads: click here

Peirson Ross live at the Heart of the Hammer Cafe

Friday August 5th 2011



Listening is a skill. Hearing is a talent. Seating is limited.

click here for sneak preview

Innocence and misery combine in the work of Joan Krygsman, whose art will be on exhibit at the Heart of the Hammer Cafe to the end of August,  2011. You can meet the artist on the evening of Wednesday, August 3rd, amid bold colours, stripes and a sense that Crayola is alive and well among professional artists.

Trained at the Ontario College of Art and Design, it was life with a two year old that inspired her most beloved work; a series of children and animals done in non-toxic markers. While these creatures live firmly in the cartoonish realm, the emotions they portray and elicit are firmly rooted in the mysteries and miseries of childhood: the alone-ness and the directness amid vibrant colours dare you to remember your own youth. They are a poignant reminder that while life isn’t a bed of roses, it is delightfully full of colour, stripes and sometimes aardvarks.

Matthew de Zoete (‘duh-ZOO-tuh’) plays tonight at the Heart of the Hammer Cafe.

A singularly talented and all-around stand-up guy, Matthew de Zoete is helping pop-rock recover its lost sense of dignity and self-worth. The 29-year-old from Hamilton, Ontario, approaches his craft much like an Old World artisan, applying a loving hand to songs whose melodic invention and attention to detail consistently catch the listener off guard.

Matthew started writing and performing music in his teens, under the spell of timeless ’60s combos like The Beatles and The Who. A demo of original material came several years later, some of which was reworked for his 2006 debut, Across the Sea. 2008′s Bottom of the World meets and exceeds those standards. Produced by Dave King and recorded mostly live off the floor, Matthew and crew capture in the studio all the spontaneity and joy of their best live shows; their familiarity with and affection for the material is very much apparent.

Catch Matthew de Zoete live at the Heart of the Hammer Cafe July 21st 2011 at 8pm. PWYC

On Friday July 22, Happy Hour with Nieghbours takes on a new flavour. You have a chance to meet our featured artist for July, Nancy Benoy, you’ll have a chance to sample some of the finest craft beer in Ontario, compliments of Cameron’s Brewing and all of this to the swinging tunes of the Highnote Ramblers.

On the subject of craft beer, here is a well researched and well written piece from Raise the Hammer that all you craft beer lovers should read.

On the subject of great music, here‘s what one person wrote after the Highnote Ramblers’ last visit to the Heart of the Hammer.

Come on out for people, performers, paintings and perhaps a bevvie or two. I love it when it all comes together this way! See you on Friday.

Colour, texture, and experimentation are the forces that propel Nancy Benoy to paint. Primarily a self taught artist, Nancy also studied at Ryerson, OCAD and George Brown College. She believes that we are all inherently creative and seeks to unlock creativity as a potential for social change. Nancy works as an Artist/Studio Instructor at the Art Gallery of Hamilton and is involved in running monthly art workshops to promote restorative justice for women. You can read more about Nancy here.

Nancy’s art will be on exhibit at the Heart of the Hammer Cafe until the end of July 2011.

Zorica Krasulja‘s paintings and illustrations breathe life into colour, into cats and into our little cafe. A graduate of the Interpretive Illustration program at Sheridan College, Zorica has illustrated a number of books. She is an active member of the Women’s Art Association of Hamilton and an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists.

Letters to Meow is an ongoing project offering prints and cards of a growing repertoire of cats, eighteen breeds at today’s count.

Zorica’s work will be on exhibit at the Heart of the Hammer until June 30th and you can meet her in person on Sunday June 26th from 11am-2pm.

Ricardo Conte-Oro is both shy and courageous.
You can see the courage in his work.
You can feel the boldness of his choices.
But you owe it to yourself to meet him in person.
You can do that on the evening of Wednesday, May 11th.
The art is on exhibit till the end of May, 2011.
It’s happening in our neighbourhood. Make the most of it!

Sometimes history walks into the same room as you, and you know it immediately; there’s a hushed and reverent feeling, perhaps awe. And sometimes you find yourself in the same room as the future and it’s very, very different. It’s electrifying. It gets your heart racing and makes you say “I want to be part of that, I want people to know I was part of that!”

This Thursday, May 5th, you can experience both at the same time when Bri-anne Swan plays Leonard Cohen at the Heart of the Hammer Cafe. 8pm. PWYC. Come early to get a seat or to get dibs on the gluten-free beer.


Swan’s powerful and evocotive take…would give [Gordon] Lightfoot a run for his money.
Artsforum Magazine

A voice sweet as a kiss from an eyelash…and just as seductive.
The Vinyl Experience

Swan has not only amazed with her insight, but her angelic voice and wonderful songs let you know that she is just full of magic.

Delightfully rich, versatile sining…this woman has huge power in her lungs and is also able to sing as sweetly as any songbird.
TO-nite Magazine