Sometimes you don’t know what you look like till you look in the mirror, don’t know how you sound to others till you hear yourself recorded. If a picture says a thousand words then take a screen shot of Julie Gordon’s story in this month’s Hmag: “Heart of the Hammer dishes up coffee and community” where she has beautifully captured the spirit of the people who have put their heart and soul into… each other.


How nice! Do we have the best customers or what?

Heart of the Hammer

By Jason Leach
Published January 06, 2010


Rarely does the central part of our fine city see much in the way of new investment along its main drags that caters to immediate neighbours and desires to act as a community gathering spot and catalyst all in one shot.

At King and Garfield, the Heart of the Hammer Cafe is doing exactly that.

This little cafe recently opened in the old Apollo sports bar on King Street and is a fabulous addition to the neighbourhood. The owners are heavily involved in local neighbourhood organizations such as the South Stipely Neighbourhood Association and South Sherman Hub.

The cafe itself is like a step back in time for me to days of lounging in coffee houses in Portland, with a similar vibe and feel. You could almost call this place a community living room.

The menu is a work in progress but already includes fabulous coffee made fresh via french press. They use beans from Detour Coffee Roasters in Dundas and they now offer bagels made fresh daily from Locke Street Bakery as well.

Hands down this is the best coffee you’ll have east of the downtown core. Local artists are featured on the cafe walls each month and the owners/staff are very engaging and friendly.

Free wifi completes the package along with light jazz music playing in the background.

Most folks whizzing past on King Street will never know this place exists. If you live in the area, however, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Perhaps you’ll meet a new neighbour and find a spot close to home where you can get away for a while.

The Heart of the Hammer nails it in every way and will hopefully become a fixture on the Hamilton cafe scene for years to come.