With a heavy lineup of Oceanwings, Day Drunk, El Sancho, Flat 5, and LT the Monk- Corktown stayed open until 3am on Friday, Feb.8- an hour after closing. Rapper Liam Tyndall and his three-piece band were the last act to play, and were worth sticking around for.
The Corktown Pub is a traditionally Irish venue and bar, with a building older than any other downtown Hamilton venue.
“Corktown is more than 100 years old. It’s the oldest venue in Hamilton and really makes the place stand out,” Owner Jim Perdikoulias said. “We host a bunch of different genres. Typically, Tuesdays we have open mic Irish jam, Wednesdays are an open mic jam, then on Fridays and Saturdays we have a mix of different acts. We also let our bands choose their own cover, they know their fanbase best.” Perdikoulias has owned the bar for more than five years.
LT is originally from South London, England, and came to Canada for school and to further his music career.
“I came to Hamilton because of the pride of this city,” LT said. “Between the old Hamilton- which is the steel city community- and the new, hipster side, around James Street, Locke, and King William- there’s so much pride and community in Hamilton, the public really care about promoting local music.”
LT’s three-piece band is made up of Santiago Rozo on keys, Lucas Cole on drums, and Cam Watson on bass. The students met through Mohawk College’s music program.
“We kind of had to prove something to him (LT),” Cole said. “I think he had this idea in mind of being that traditional rapper, with everything pre-recorded and being made electronically- but once we showed him what we could do with his songs he was all in.”
As well as playing as a live band for three different artists, the trio also live together.
“From a musician’s point of view, a lot of gigs and a lot of contracts that come up are just for money,” Rozo said. “You end up playing with people you’ve never met, and you don’t know if you’ll have chemistry or not. So I feel really lucky to be able to play with my best friends.”
The cover was a hefty $15, five bucks above average. While it’s nothing to stress over, the average student will also be expecting to pay for booze while out at a gig- and the bill could start to pile up.
In traditional Irish Pub style, the bar serves a full booze menu, as well as a menu with snacks and Irish classics.
“We sell traditional Irish fare,” Perdikoulias said. “Chicken wings, nachos, pizza. It compliments the east-coast kitchen very well.”
The menu ranges from $7 for chips and salsa, to $16 for a muskoka cheddar and bacon burger.
“Pints are typical,” Perdikoulias said. “I think it’s comparable to most other bars. A typical domestic is around $7.75.”
Although I would expect to pay $7 for a tasty, locally made draft – the cheapest lagers available like Coors Light and Molson Canadian were $7.75 a pint. Paying that much for a beer that I would never choose in any other circumstance left a sour taste in my mouth.
Rating: I’d give LT the Monk at Corktown a four out of five. Although the venue is comfortable and clean, and LT and his trio put on a great show- the prices were a little steep for my student wallet.