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193 Bench Kitchen is closing its doors in Hamilton

This one’s a heartbreaker. A relatively new – and increasing popular – Hamilton lunch spot has announced they will be permanently closing their doors.

193 Bench Kitchen, a sister location to popular Grimsby eatery 270 Bench Kitchen, had only been open on King Street East in the International Village for just under two years.

However, the new sandwich spot had quickly become a hit with the downtown crowd, with lines regularly running to the door at lunchtime and crowds of eager locals waiting to get their hands on popular favourites like the smoked turkey sandwich, topped with delicious tomato chutney; or the Grimsby Smoke, a Reuben-esque offering with smoked brisket, tangy sauerkraut, and house mustard.

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Hamilton – this has been a wild few months! When we opened 193 Bench Kitchen as a sister location to @270benchkitchen in Grimsby, we were so excited to expand into the thriving Hamilton culinary scene! It was a joy to be downtown, bringing our food to you. With these weird times, it’s also been a time for tough decisions. In this climate, operating 2 separate locations is no longer feasible for us, and as such, we will not be reopening 193 Bench Kitchen. We definitely plan to stick around the Hamilton area, through pop-ups and as vendors at events as much as we can! In the meantime, our Grimsby store, @270benchkitchen, is up and running for curbside pickup and we would love to see familiar #hamont faces there. Don’t be a stranger, and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for an amazing, even if short-lived, experience in Hamilton! Stay safe and be well ❤️

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The popularity wasn’t surprising. 193 Bench Kitchen set itself apart from a lot of other sandwich places in Hamilton by using only ingredients that were locally sourced or made from scratch in-house; even their famous sourdough sandwich bread was baked fresh each day.

Though, with the COVID-19 pandemic’s relentless stress on small businesses, 193 Bench Kitchen made the tough decision to close its Hamilton location.

“In this climate, operating 2 separate locations is no longer feasible for us, and as such, we will not be reopening 193 Bench Kitchen,” said the sandwich shop on social media.

Though the news is definitely more bitter than sweet for Hamilton foodies, there’s luckily an upside: the lunch spot’s original location, 270 Bench Kitchen, will still remain open for service if locals feel like making a short trek out to Grimsby.

On top of that, Bench Kitchen also says they still plan to find ways of feeding Hamiltonians with their well-loved lunch offerings.

“We definitely plan to stick around the Hamilton area, through pop-ups and as vendors at events as much as we can!” said Bench Kitchen’s closure announcement.

193 Bench Kitchen isn’t even the first sandwich shop to announce its closure this week; just two days ago, 40 year-old east end classic Atlantic Submarine also announced that COVID-19 had forced them to permanently shut down.

Lead image courtesy of @193benchkitchen

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