Oh, yes. So Hank's opened around Thanksgiving, occupying a small space directly beside JK Wine Bar. In fact, open the door to find the washroom and bam! There you are, amongst JK diners. On busy nights (Thurs-Sat), Hank's opens up to JK overflow, serving classy old school cocktails (Manhattan, anyone?) and bar snacks (like roasted almonds or marinated olives, both $3).
But enough about that wine bar, pshaw - this is about Hank's, and their commitment to cafe greatness. With two champion baristas on staff (Samuel was voted one of Toronto's best in Now Magazine), locally sourced foods, free wi-fi and a welcoming atmosphere, the Hank's crew are succeeding in bringing something different yet oh-so-familiar ("simple, good, soulful food") to the neighbourhood. And it's all under $12!
Angie says it feels like the first time this side space has had a soul - and with it comes comforting food "like your mom would make". Daily soup, stew, sandwiches built with St. John's bakery breads, baked goods and meats prepared in house, a straight-forward beverage menu skillfully prepared with Intelligentsia beans. Much thought is put into what they sell, with the goal of appealing to what the Esplanade locals might like. For instance, they'll soon add take-away items like meat pies to the line-up, perfect for condo dwellers around the corner.
Let's not forget that Hank's uses Green Shift cups and containers - everything is recyclable (even the straws!). A place with brains and soul - sounds good to me.