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.

Hello Good Neighbours! We’re looking forward to a fun-filled holiday season, some time off for good behaviour and new hours for a new year. Please see below, spread the word, tell your friends and shout it from the rooftops cause I will feel bad if you show up in a snowstorm with no where else to go and I am not here!

Holiday Highlights:

  • Thursday December 16th: Chris Hau and the Bloody Five, live at 8pm
  • Friday December 17th: Beer Tasting with Cameron’s Brewing, 5-8pm
  • Saturday December 18th: Stories from the North Pole with BJ Elf, 10am
  • Sunday December 19th: Chef Danielle serves up crepes, 9am-2pm
  • Wednesday December 22nd: Christmas Party featuring BJ Elf, Neighbourhood Ornament Exchange and Cookie Contest, 4pm onward


December 23rd – January 3rd: CLOSED except for Happy Hour with Don Grunsten on:

  • Tuesday December 28th, 5pm onward
  • Wednesday December 29th, 5pm onward
  • Thursday December 30th, 5pm onward

NEW HOURS FOR A NEW YEAR: (Starting January 4th 2011)

  • Mondays: CLOSED
  • Tuesdays: 8am-10pm
  • Wednesdays: 8am-10pm
  • Thursdays: 8am-11pm
  • Fridays: 8am-11pm
  • Saturdays: 8am-11pm
  • Sundays: 9am-2pm

So if you come by and see the lights on over the holidays it will be either a) Happy Hour with Don Grunsten, b) a family visit c) evidence of acute agoraphobia or d) a burglary. Please feel free to investigate! See you soon.


This is a busy month at the Heart of the Hammer. We’ll update the events page with new events as they appear. And yes, if you’d just love to treat your team to happy hour at the cafe, give us a call!

Thursday Dec 2: TK Dallman live at 8pm

Friday Dec 3: Happy Hour with Guernsey Girl 5-8pm

Saturday Dec 4: Cartoons & Cappuccino, 7am-10am

Saturday Dec 4: Kid Crafters with Sarah Merritt at 3pm; make hand made Christmas stockings!

Saturday Dec 4: Live Jam with Steve Currie, 4pm

Sunday Dec 5: Crepes Brunch from 9am-2pm

Tuesday Dec 6: Book Club with Julie Gordon, 7pm

Thursday Dec 9: Shelley Adams, live at 8pm!

Saturday Dec 11: Cartoons & Cappuccino, 7am-10am

Sunday Dec 12: Crepes Brunch from 9am-2pm

Thursday Dec 16: The Bloody Five and Chris Hau live at 8pm

Friday Dec 17: Beer tasting with Cameron’s Brewing, 5-8pm

Friday Dec 17: Happy (Birthday!) Hour with Julie and Karen, 5-8pm

Saturday Dec 18: Stories from the North Pole with BJ Elf, 10am

Sunday Dec 19: Crepes Brunch with Chef Danielle, 9am-2pm

Wednesday Dec 22: Heart of the Hammer Christmas Party, Ornament Exchange and Cookie Contest, 4pm-Ornament Exchange with BJ Elf, 6pm Holiday Cheer – All Welcome! (Bring your best home-made cookies to share, be judged and win a prize for yummiest or most artistic!) Oh- and Karaoke Christmas Carols!!

Holiday Hours TBA (We’ll be closed for a bit, suffice it to say!)

Yes, for one day only, (tomorrow, Thursday October 28th),  you can buy a $10 voucher for only $5 from GROUPON, redeemable on food, beverage or gifts at the Heart of the Hammer Cafe.

Featured by Forbes, this sassy group has been highlighting hidden gems across Canada, Europe and the US since 2008. Groupon works as a buying group, allowing people to buy in volume what would cost more individually.

This is your chance to save and share all at once. Get your groupon and enjoy!

At long last our new sign is in. We received a number of really great submissions for Sarah’s Design the Sign contest and we really hope that some of them will some day become t-shirts, mugs and what-not. The Grand Prix goes to Jocelyn Chartrand for her image of the heart surrounded by buildings. The Prix Nobile goes to Tera Johnson. We would love to put her concept over the door, but in the mean time she poached the funky fonts from it and blended the two together for us.

Thanks to everyone who contributed images to the contest. Thanks to Sarah for launching the contest and for donating her tips. Thanks to everyone in the neighbourhood who contributed to the sign fund which raised $500 in three weeks. Thanks to all the people who helped to make it happen and get it put up. Here is what it looks like.

Love to hear from you when you see it on your drive-by!

One of the things we talk about a lot in the Hubs here in Hamilton is this notion of resident led projects. The idea is that when something comes out of a need in the community, it tends to have greater impact and greater likelihood of being sustained by the community than things that fall out of the sky whether we want them or not.

The impetus for the Heart of the Hammer Cafe came out of the Asset Mapping project at the South Sherman Hub. It started quickly and has built steadily with help, support and contributions from the community. Four months in, the people of the neighbourhood continue to sustain it.

Here on the website we try to keep you current about our Food and Beverage, News and Events, Featured Artists and Live Music. But there is a whole lot going on at the Heart of the Hammer that isn’t initiated by the cafe, things that are what you might call, resident-led projects. Activities include the Stitch ‘n’ Bitch, the Book Club, the Running Club, The Neighbourhood Business Round Table, the Singles Games Night, the South Stipeley Neighbourhood Association meetings, office hours for the South Sherman Hub and more. To learn about or get in on these activities, the Facebook Group: Heart of the Hammer Cafe is where you want to look. See you there!

Heart of the Hammer Cafe

Liquor License Fundraiser:

Pre-Paid Tabs

are now available at the cafe and are redeemable on food, beverage or merchandise purchases.

When you pre-pay before May 2nd, you’ll receive an additional 15% credit. For example, pre-paying $10 before May 2nd gets you a credit of $11.50 or pre-paying $100 gets you a credit of $115.

And yes, tell your friends, pre-paying $1000 will get you a credit of $1150!

Thank you all for your continued and generous support of the Heart of the Hammer cafe. Cheers!