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The Cat is back

Beloved John Street South pub and live music venue the Cat & Fiddle has reopened under new ownership. 

When Reg Collett and Dario Pacini first opened the Cat ’N’ Fiddle in 1993, it quickly became one of the city’s best spots, most notably for its Wednesday night jazz jam and a safe space for folks from many different walks of life. For more than 28 years, an entire generation of Hamiltonians passed through its doors at 174 John St. S.

Then came the pandemic. In September 2021, then-owners Suzanne Keast and her partners made the heartbreaking decision to close the beloved Hamilton staple and put the building up for sale. The outpouring of grief and appreciation from many regulars and musicians was tremendous. 

But cats, as they say, have nine lives, and this September, nearly two years after it closed, the Cat & Fiddle (with a slight change to the name) has come back to Corktown. 

New owner Ty Patry, who bought the property from  Keast in June 2022, aims to bring excitement back to the area. “We are looking forward to seeing other businesses open again and make this an excellent neighbourhood to visit.”

As with its earlier incarnation, the Cat & Fiddle is family-run, with Patry, his parents, and sister all in charge of the business. “We’re new to the neighbourhood. My father and I worked on the property for five months with the help of many great friends to create an atmosphere that will be welcoming for everyone. We are bringing bands back and will be televising major sporting events such as the Grey Cup, NFL, NHL, NBA. We will be creating a fan club here for the Toronto Rock Lacrosse team.”

Patrons can expect to see a few changes, including an expanded menu and a modern look combined with the original charm in the interior. “We took out the upper storage around the bar to give it a more open look and have added TVs and new lights. We’ve also restored the hardwood floors in the bar. The outside has been brightened up, mixing white and black together to give it a new pub-style look.”