Jersey embroidery / great old school Hamilton eateries

Off topic (Jersey embroidery) but I saw Max Webster at Duffy’s in the spring of 1976. I had never heard of them before my buddy wanted to go see them. I have been a fan for life.

Wow! I never chanced upon the Chicken Roost on my occasional ventures to downtown Hamilton beginning in 1977.

Here’s a great article on the restaurants of Hamilton from days of yore:

So many great diners, all closed now. Very sad. You never know what you’ve got till it’s gone. Now I even miss the dinette counters at Woolworth and Kresge stores even though they weren’t such a “big deal” back in the day.

Incidentally I still like Steve’s Open Kitchen just south of the GO station. Great pancakes!

Do you fellows have any other recommendations for diners in downtown Hamilton? Woolworth type counter seating plus booths and comfort food at reasonable prices are a must.


Staropolskie Delikatesy

One of my favourites when I was working on Catherine St. to go to for breakfast , lunch or dinner was the Big Top located at the corner of Sherman and Main . All meals home cooked and reasonably priced . It also has a Woolworth type counter for seating plus old fashioned booths . Walking inside is like walking into a time machine and straight into the Sixties . If you haven’t already tried it , trust me and give it a go next time yer in town , you won’t be disappointed .

Looks great! I will indeed check it out next time I’m in Hamilton.

What was the name of the diner on the north side of Barton Street just a few doors east of Angelo Savelli’s King of Cards shop? Is it still open? I had some good perogies there two or three times after visiting with Angie.


Thanks Balticfox for all the memories you brought back to me with your link to the story on the Chicken Roost, and other articles. As a kid, in the 50’s, a lunch or dinner, at the 'Roost was often a looked-forward-to part of being dragged along on a shopping trip downtown. Sometimes it was a quicker stop at (can’t remember the name) a place, close to King & James, known for its orange-coloured fountain beveridge. The heart of Hamilton was then, at least to young eyes, a pretty impressive place.

The White Grill maybe? Or Delta Bright Spot? The Honey Dew?


The Honey Dew is what I couldn’t remember. The extra link you provided here brings back many more
childhood dining out memories. Thanks, again.

Here’s a good photo:

Does anyone remember the chip hut on James Street, maybe one or two doors down from the United Cigar Store on the NE corner of King and James? My mother would let us buy different chips, nuts and so on as we waited for the bus. Don’t remember the name or the exact location, but I do remember the chips.

I didn’t realize that the Delta Bright Spot closed less than three years ago!

It’s very sad to see those old diners disappear. They’re not being replaced so they’re steadily disappearing. They’re already uncommon.


I’m exactly the same on your last sentence. It’s the texture of the chips I remember. They were very light and I think we purchased them either by weight or by the size of the shop’s white fold-into-shape cardboard boxes.

Ah I have fond memories of the White Grill. When a teenager I worked part time at the old library downtown, where I met my first love. When walking her home, we often stopped at the White Grill to have a bite. Good times, and bittersweet memories.

I remember the Honey Dew and the Woolworth’s counter. Growing up on the Mountain, the first drive-in restaurant I ever saw was the Millionaire at Mohawk and James. For Chinese there was Lee’s in Mount Hope and the Tien Kue in Burlington (sweet and sour fish!). Never went to the Pagoda.

On our first date my wife and I stopped in at the A&W on King West. It later went vegetarian or something, but isn’t it back to an A&W now?

I went to the Chicken Roost many times, but the episode I remember best is the time (1967?) the Toronto band Mandala were refused service because of their long hair (almost shoulder length! on guys!). I wasn’t present but I was at the show that night where they talked about it.

My vote is for the Starapolskie Delikatesy for a plateful of Polish goodness.

Great to see these pictures and posts! There are few places near Mac - but I’m terrible remembering names. Hamilton seems to have had a boom of unique restaurants built in the 60s.

Honey Dew and Chicken Roost I recall well; drawing a blank on Woolworth’s.

True. The Mom & Pop restaurants are fast becoming history, squeezed out by chains. Don’t see many Mom & Pop variety stores anymore either. . . well except for Korean run variety stores. . . which is most of them come to think of it. At least where I’m living now.

I think it was called Katarina’s or something like that, delicious!

Is that card shop the one that had the NHL Tigers jersey that was stolen / extorted?

Think your suggestion is the only current restaurant actually still in business that has been mentioned in this thread.

Love the Delikatesy!

It was called Karolina?s. Across the street from the Polish Legion on Barton St. Fabulous “home style? dinners with many courses. Almost like going to an ethnic (ie. Polish, Italian,etc ) wedding. Used to go with a large group every couple of years. Impossible to walk out hungry ?