‘Too many obstacles’ cause popular Hamilton cafe to close location


Published September 25, 2023 at 12:45 pm

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A popular Hamilton coffee shop is permanently shutting one of its locations at the end of September.

Relay Coffee Roasters, which has been serving fair trade and organic coffee since 2008, announced on social media on Sept. 21 that it will continue to serve customers until Sept. 30 at The Staircase, an events and performance venue, at 27 Dundurn St. N.

“We have loved beautifying and then working in that gorgeous space at the Staircase these past 14 months,” the cafe wrote. “We’ve enjoyed getting to know new people through our café and events there and have contributed in a positive way to the Hamilton Art community. … However, our time as the ones operating the café there have come to an end.”

Relay Coffee said it knew there would be “some risk” when it decided to build a cafe at The Staircase. “We’re disappointed that we didn’t fully execute our exciting vision,” it explained. “This is partly our responsibility, however, post pandemic there were too many obstacles that got in our way.”

It cited the slow economic recovery, high inflation, change in consumer habits, team changes and the government’s pandemic loan deadline extension, which small businesses feared was not enough time to pay off their debts in order to qualify for a forgivable portion of the loan, as some of the obstacles.

However, Relay Coffee will continue serving customers at its café at 27 King William St. and focus on crafting coffee at its roastery.

The cafe is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“RELAY will STILL be involved at the Staircase as we cater their events with our delicious platters of the baked goods you’ve come to know and love, scrumptious charcuterie, and savoury apps,” it added. “We are excited for the future of The Staircase as a space for music, art, theatre, trivia nights, and comedy to thrive.”


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