Guessing the comings and goings of food joints in Hintonburg has become a bit of a sport among the neighbourhood’s hungry inhabitants. Recently, the buzz has been sizzling like a homemade corndog in a deep fryer about Hintonburger, the burger shack (literally) that stepped in when the Persian place Khatoom split. Still, the street still feels like it’s missing its foodie superstar act — a destination that draws folks from clear across town. Meanwhile, the slow process of gentrification continues to draw new businesses from West Wellington and beyond to join the cool kids living on the grungier side of the tracks. If my hunch is right, we may be witnessing a bonafide chowhound ‘hood in the making.
Here’s how things are shaping up:
- In the spot that once held the Melrose Groceteria, a wood-oven pizza place is under construction. The sign reads: Tennessy Willems (apparently these are the names of the owners’ two children, Tennessy and Willem).
- Across the street, in the space next to the Giant Tiger that was the Ethiopian restaurant Habesha (now on Rideau) is another papered-up window drawing speculation. The sign says it will be called “Back Lane Café” and rumour has it this will be a wine bar.
- There is also word that the electric scooter shop will be a fish market.
- Further down Wellington at the corner of Fairmont is a grand space with Dish Catering as the hot new tenant. In an email interview with community blogger Vicky Smallman (a.k.a.Miss Vicky), DISH owner Erin Clatney said the catering operation will move into the carriage house on Fairmont, while the corner storefront space will be a dedicated culinary event space (think: Urban Element) coupled with “DISH It Out” pre-ordered party food to go.
- Rumours of a Bridgehead location coming to this part of town have been stirring for years, but it looks like another shop is set to caffeinate the neighbourhood first. A java bar is brewing in the space behind the odd black gate of Levonian, the former custom shirt-maker.