Hammersmith’s, the brainchild of boyfriend-girlfriend duo Brittany Peglar and Colin Reed, is a new brunch spot in brunch-laden Riverdale, housed in a space previously occupied by a diner for 50-odd years. The couple does both sweet (Peglar) and savoury (Reed), keeping the focus on breakfast. They’ve already managed to draw a loyal clientele, with regulars popping in just after 9 a.m. for either a quick coffee or a full-on brekkie.
Peglar and Reed have both done the rounds in successful Toronto kitchens—including The Drake, Czehoski and Didier between them—and felt it was time to strike out on their own. They first dreamed up the eatery while in London last year, so it was only fitting that name itself be inspired by the borough in which they lived. The logo, meanwhile, was “kind of a communal effort,” notes Peglar: a friend at Quince suggested incorporating the borough’s coat of arms, while Justin Adam helped bring it to life (he also did one for Porchetta and Co.).
The decor is kept simple and stays true to the diner’s roots, with everything right out in the open. Café-style tables fill up the main space, while a low tiled bar is outfitted with metal stools for grab ’n’ go purchases. Large windows let the sunshine spill in, and baked goods are given pride of place on the countertop, allowing passersby to keep an eye on daily picks.
The straightforward menu is governed by both impulse and seasonality, with five mains and three sides currently on offer. Peglar recommends the classic steak and eggs ($13) as well as the cured salmon dish, which comes with sweet peas, fennel and pine nuts ($12). With a background in pastry, Peglar whips up baked goods daily. Scones ($1.25), currently studded with local raspberries and blackberries, are likely to be a fixture (“they’re a bestseller,” she says). Chocoholics can get their fix with the truly decadent chocolate chip cookies ($2)—the chocolate is sourced from the Distillery District’s Soma.
Hammersmith’s, 807 Gerrard St. E., 416-792-9043, hammersmiths.wordpress.com.