5 most surprising closures in Hamilton in 2023


Published December 29, 2023 at 9:00 am

541 Eatery & Exchange

From the closing of a not-for-profit café feeding those most in need to the the end of the line for an Italian family restaurant in business for nearly three decades, Hamilton saw its share of surprising closures in 2023.

1 – 541 Eatery & Exchange ‘pay it forward’ cafe closes

The non-profit, pay-it-forward cafe 541 Eatery & Exchange “made the difficult decision” to close its downtown restaurant in late July.

Safety concerns and “staff burnout” were the reasons given for the closure. However, its youth programs are continuing.

With a mission “to create a diverse community of belonging around the table,” the Barton St. E. café ran a pay-it-forward café and provided youth programs as well as provides volunteer opportunities.


2 – And then there was one 5 Guys

The popular burger joint Five Guys, known for its hand-formed burgers and fresh-cut fries, closed one of its two East Hamilton locations in July.

The chain shut down its restaurant on Centennial Road, just south of the QEW. The location at the bottom of the Red Hill Parkway is still open.


3 – Post pandemic “obstacles” shut down cafe

Relay Coffee Roasters, which has been serving fair trade and organic coffee since 2008, stopped serving customers September 30 at September 30 at The Staircase, an events and performance venue on Dundurn Street.

The café cited “too many obstacles,” post=Pandemic, as the reasons for the closure.

– https://www.inthehammer.com/too-many-obstacles-cause-popular-hamilton-cafe-to-close-location/

4 – Saying goodbye to scratch-made cakes and loaves

After 15 years, Hamilton’s Cake and Loaf Bakery at 321 Dundurn St. S. turned off its ovens October 8.

The little bakery in the Kirkendall Community is looking for a new owner, so a new version of the shop, which makes cakes, cookies and pastries, may pop up in the future.

– https://www.inthehammer.com/hamiltons-cake-and-loaf-bakery-to-shut-doors-looks-for-new-owner/

5 – Traditional Italian restaurant closes shop after 27 years

La Piazza Allegra has cooked traditional Italian family dishes and specialties for countless guests at its downtown Hamilton location and various sites, from castles and historical buildings to bridges and forests.

Due to the owners’ retirement and the next generation’s focus on a new vision and new ventures, the Hamilton Italian restaurant said it decided to end its 27-year run. The restaurant closed Saturday, November 4.

– https://www.inthehammer.com/known-for-its-heart-and-exquisite-dishes-italian-restaurant-shuts-doors-after-27-years-in-hamilton/

Mark Farrugia, owner and executive chef of La Piazza Allegra, said his restaurant is closing due to his parents’ retirement and his own new ventures

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