What’s new at Hamilton’s iconic Hyde’s restaurant after its renovation

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

Closing a popular Hamilton restaurant for a week wasn’t easy for its owners, but the changes made during that time are designed to keep customers coming back for more.

Customer attraction is hardly a challenge for Hyde’s, which opened in 1946 when the grandfather and granduncle of sisters Ashley Hyde and Amy Hyde-Klaiber opened the eatery. The place fields a steady stream of devoted, longtime customers daily but updates to the interior and exterior were needed, Hyde-Klaiber said. So the restaurant shut down after serving customers June 2 and didn’t reopen until June 10.

Hyde’s installed new LED lighting and a new ceiling, swapped tiling for heavy-duty, commercial-grade carpet and gave the whole place a fresh coat of paint.

“When you’ve been here as long as we have and we have such history with so many, you can’t change too much, but at the same time when you don’t change people say you’re old and dated and dirty and all of those words,” she said. “We were just trying to give a nod to both directions.”

Hyde's also re-branded the store's signage and menu, courtesy of Hamilton brand identity development and graphic design firm LemonGrenade Creative. Basing the fresh, bright color palette off the restaurant's orange-and-yellow booths, LemonGrenade provided several mock-ups from which Hyde-Klaiber and her sister could choose.

“It was kind of like a buffet, if you will,” Hyde-Klaiber said. “We picked and chose from different platforms that we liked.”

Hyde’s attempted to track down a photograph of the “pie man” that once graced a sign outside of the restaurant to incorporate him into the newly designed menu.

“When that didn’t work out, we just came back to creating our own little pie guy,” she said.

Cindy Dingeldein at Community Design Alliance was “instrumental in her vision and guidance for our refresh,” she said.

Signboards outside the restaurant, which is hiring several new employees, are set to eventually change soon and will include Hyde’s new logo, Hyde-Klaiber said.

Total investment into the “refresh” is estimated, so far, to top $60,000, and customers’ reaction has included “an overwhelmingly positive response,” she said.

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