Monday, June 13, 2011

Patio season starts at Hess Village

A few weeks ago, we were greeted with a particularly sunny Friday afternoon. It was the first warm, sunny Friday of the season, so naturally, our minds drifted to patios.

Now, back in our former Toronto neighbourhood, we knew the patio options like the backs of our hands. No debate, we just headed up the street to one of three or so fave places. Hamilton is a different story - here we were, in the throes of this nice afternoon/evening, and no idea where to go to sit and enjoy a drink outside.

After some brief inquiries on Twitter, we found out that Hess Village was the place to go. Hess Village? The only thing I'd ever heard about this particular part of town was from my friend who went to McMaster for undergrad (you can see where this is going). Essentially, the only time she ever left campus was to party in Hess Village.

Well, that was not exactly the scene I was looking for on that particular day (or really ever these days!) but we headed off to Hess Village anyway, not really knowing what to expect.

To our surprise and delight, Hess Village (only about a block or two in size) was busy but not rowdy, and ideal. We settled on the Gown & Gavel patio, and sat down for a great dinner and drinks out in the sun. (This was also apparently voted best patio!)

Keep in mind that this was May (school was out!) I gather that September-April can be quite different in this area....

Hess Village is an interesting street - lots of eating/drinking options, obviously a desirable area for pubs/clubs and some other businesses as well. Our first thought was that a pedestrianized Hess Village (even one that is only pedestrianized on weekends) would be really cool - especially with the addition of street musicians or performers on busy evenings, for example.

I'm sure we'll be spending a few more warm, sunny afternoons there between now and August (but I'll be honest and say we likely won't be heading to Hess during the school year!)

We've also heard about a few other great patios to visit in the area - what's your fave summer patio in Hamilton?

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