Secret Location Revealed for Friday's Pop Up Dinner

By Saira Peesker
Published November 20, 2013

On Friday, about 100 Hamiltonians are going to eat a meal together, although the vast majority of them do not yet know where. With Pop-Up Hamilton set to officially release the location of its second group feast later this week, we found out Tuesday that the secret spot is the Leander Boat Club's Bay City Music Hall, tucked away at Pier 4 Park.

The recent hub of several Hamilton Music Awards events, the hall features panoramic views of the bay and a grand history, says Hamilton Pop Up Dining mogul David Hanley.

"It was a very, very prestigious spot in the 1930s and 1940s, but along with the area, it kind of fell off the radar for a while unless you were in boat circles."

While some tickets may still be available, most Pop Up Hamilton patrons buy in advance, before they know details of the meal. Hanley recently announced that the food this time will be prepared by chef Robert To, a multi-disciplinarian who serves Asian fusion at Koi and Sizzle, and classic Italian at Nino's Ristorante.

"I marvel that someone can master two disciplines that are so different," said Hanley on Tuesday. "He's just a really interesting guy. A lot of chefs have a very forward, forceful charisma, but Robert To - whether he's serving 40 or 300 people - he's always even-keeled, gracious."

The menu includes stuffed quail, venison and creme brulee. Wine at the event will be provided by Pelee Island Winery.

Hanley is also the mind behind Dishcrawl Hamilton, a series of travelling dinners that showcase particular neighbourhoods. The next event takes place Tuesday, somewhere on the Mountain, a secret in keeping with his tradition of last-minute revelations.

Tickets for both events, Pop Up Hamilton 2 and Dishcrawl Hamilton, are available online. Pop Up Hamilton's seats are set at $90, while Dishcrawl will cost you $60.

Saira Peesker is an ace reporter who covers politics, business and current events. Her work has appeared on YourHamiltonBiz, OpenFile and, among others. When not snooping for scoops, she skates in counter-clockwise circles with Toronto Roller Derby's all-star team, CN Power. You can follow her on Twitter @SairaPeesker.


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By Mal (anonymous) | Posted November 20, 2013 at 07:41:14

I hope this turns out to be a red herring, and that the location is genuinely a surprise. Pre-announced pop-ups are spontaneity-averse.

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By Dave (anonymous) | Posted November 20, 2013 at 16:06:04

True, Mal but getting people to a dinner without telling them where it is has it's challenges too.

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By Steve (registered) | Posted November 21, 2013 at 17:05:15 in reply to Comment 95039

Really? Text messaging is what other mystery location dinner events use.

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By Hentor (registered) - website | Posted December 05, 2013 at 10:58:44

I've been to a number of Charlie Burger and other pop up events and they use text messages, emails telling folks where/when to meet (phone booth, newspaper boxes, etc)'s always a surprise AND it works.

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