Friday, February 10, 2012

Musings on Augusta Street

As I’ve already shared my thoughts on our Hess Village patio experience of last summer (unique, I think, because all the students had left already), I thought it was high time I posted a few musings on another of Hamilton’s bar-filled streets – the (very different) Augusta Street.

Since starting our Hamilton-related exploits a year ago, hubby, myself and friends have visited the pubs on Augusta Street a number of times – for drinks, eats and festivals.

The first was on a blustery late winter/early spring evening last year, when, on a whim, we decided to check out the Augusta Street scene. At the time, various Hamiltonians had mentioned the street to us as a place we should visit, so we scanned the various pub names as we walked along Augusta, chose the Winking Judge and went in.

Two things struck us: 1) they have a fantastic craft beer selection, which was something we had enjoyed in Toronto and had missed up until that point in Hamilton (as an interesting aside, they also have a ‘wall of fame’ of people that have tried ALL their craft beers. Hubby was intrigued).

and 2) the pub (and the street) have that ‘grad school’ feel to them – ie: no Hess Village-partying undergrads here. Who knows – maybe they do party there, but there was not one to be seen that night.

Since then, we have visited the street several times, had a beer on The Ship patio, checked out the Augusta Block Party (chili cook-off!) last August on the street - impressive, because of the sheer amount of people and the fact that they managed to fit a stage and live bands on Augusta Street - and listened to music at The Augusta House (another bar in an old Victorian house, but with a slightly different vibe than the others, as it’s a ‘gastro pub’ – ie: with a more extensive menu than some others, I would assume.)

This seems to be a theme in this neighbourhood – packing a lot of people and great music into relatively small spaces.

For example, we’ve been to the Winking Judge a couple of times since that first visit and I always wonder how they manage to squeeze live music into that pub, given that its in a narrow Victorian house (but they do!).

These pubs also haven’t been renovated to the point where the features of the original Victorian homes have been completely masked – I have often wondered who lived there back in the day, what the street was like, etc….the stuff of an archive search at some point of the future.

I still haven’t visited the interestingly-named Pheasant Plucker on Augusta. I’m sure that’s in the cards soon.

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