Johnny’s Coffee 129 Locke Street South

Hamilton’s coffee culture continues to boom – welcome to the neighbourhood, Johnny’s Coffee! I’ve enjoyed getting to know the Locke Street area better and was pleased to see a new coffee shop pop up. Johnny’s just opened up on September 4th, and during my visit on the 7th, you would never know it was only open for a few days.

The place looked like a neighbourhood staple already, with many patrons coming in and out, some settled down with their laptops, a couple sipping lattes in one corner, and a mother and her young infant stopping in for a rest.

Johnny’s early following is no surprise, given its cozy charm. It’s tucked away, further down on Locke, just past The Button Pushers, rather than being on the main strip of shops on the street. Of course, Hamilton’s online community also did the trick – there was an outpouring of tweets welcoming Johnny’s to town right away (which is how I spotted the city’s newest coffee joint!)

I always have to take in the decor everywhere I go. I like the subdued colour scheme, with just a splash of a warm shade of red by the front counter. The wooden floor and furniture also make the space feel warm – perfect for the upcoming fall season. The walls in the back area are decorated with newspapers. Some of the recent, local stories from The Spec even caught my eye. One was on Hamilton’s coffee culture, and I even spotted a music story by Graham Rockingham on local hip hop artist The Emsee. On another wall there was a unique wooden art piece that reminded me of my favourite game, Jenga, and you can never fail with a shiny chandelier!

And who is Johnny, anyway? Well, no one in particular. According to their website, “Our name originates from the idea that Johnny – our version of Hamilton’s everyman – will be here to welcome you with a friendly face and casual conversation whenever you come to visit.” As I sipped my tasty dark roast Detour coffee, I heard one customer ask a friendly barista the obvious question, “Are you Johnny?”

There are some Johnnys present in the coffee shop, however. In the washroom I noted the black and white photos of people like Johnny Cash and Johnny Carson. It wasn’t until later that it hit me that the celebrities featured were all named Johnny. Clever!

See you next time, Johnny!

– Kristin

Hanging with Johnny Cash in the washroom. Taken with Instagram.

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Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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