Merchant Feature: Merk Snack Bar

Merk Snack Bar

To owner Mark the definition of Merk is to “act passionately and fully” this is a mantra that Mark carries with him and inserts into everything he does.

Merk Snack bar was born from an idea that owner Mark had dreamed up while working in the food and beverage industry. Chef Mark has spent over 20+ years working in bars and restaurants and if you’ve tried anything from the menu you can see that Mark knows his way around a kitchen.

His journey began as a line cook at Lick’s Burgers, where he would watch the fresh patties being prepared daily. His love for quality food developed as his career flourished. In February 2018 Merk Snack Bar opened its doors on Ottawa Street and within a few short years managed to win over the heart of the community. The space is intimate and inviting, the Edison lights give off a warm ambiance and make you want to cozy up in a booth with an old fashioned and some good company. While inside dining is not yet open due to COVID, Mark and his team were able to transfer this same chill vibe to their outdoor alley patio.

The outdoor dining area at Merk is like a silver lining during this pandemic, they were able to take a mundane space and turn it into an oasis. Seeing Merk’s ability to adapt and pivot through the uncertainty that was brought on by COVID is why we love small business. Mark took into consideration the needs of our community members when implementing an eCommerce platform into his existing website, you can now order online for pickup or delivery. Merk also offers weekly meal prep packages that you can sign up for at Mark speaks so highly of the Crown Point community and he is happy to be a part of it.

Mark describes Merk’s menu style as ‘greasy spoon’ cooking in tapas form, the items rotate seasonally and Chef Mark sources products from local bakeries, markets and from farmers directly with the goal of offering unique flavours to his dishes. Mark uses classic culinary skills in the kitchen as well as unconventional methods that make you stop and think about what you’re eating. When asked about the most popular menu item it was a three-way tie between Korean Fried Chicken, Tater Tot Poutine and Jerk Chicken Taquitos. While the menu may change seasonally these items aren’t going anywhere!

A few other current favourites are the sweet and spicy broccoli and brussels sprouts, perogies and pork belly, curry goat and paratha and watermelon feta salad.

Each dish is developed with that same passion and flair that Chef Mark adds to every element of his business. When asked about his favourite eateries in town Mark gives a nod to one of Hamilton’s classics, The Donut Stop on Parkdale. He also highly recommends Ja-Nice for the best authentic Jamaican cooking – located at King and Tisdale.

Like any good neighbourhood bar, Merk offers a wide selection of local craft beers and ciders as well as wine. And in line with their mantra – “act passionately and fully” Merk has a carefully crafted cocktail menu that does not disappoint! “To make a good cocktail you have to have good ingredients” says Mark, they’ve carefully chosen a supply of top-notch spirits and hand juice their citrus daily to ensure each sip packs a punch of flavour. We recommend the Alaina Spritz – gin, Campari, Prosecco, lemon and ginger, the Supertramp – Jameson, amaro Montenegro, Chambord, Lillete Blanc and bitters or the Maple OIdie – Bourbon, maple whiskey liqueur, espresso and smoked bitters.

Things you might not know about Chef Mark – He’s a father of three, a HUGE ‘trecky’ and a big fan of The Prodigy. Don’t believe us? Stop by and ask him yourself!

Hours of operation:

Patio is open Thursday – Sunday
Monday 5pm to 11pm
Tuesday 5pm to 11pm
Wednesday 5pm to 11pm
Thursday 5pm to 12am
Friday 5pm to 12am
Saturday 2pm to 12am
Sunday 1pm to 9pm

Monday to Wednesday we are open for take-out and “Bubble” private parties. This means you can bring your bubble of 10 people to our patio for private dining.

Reservations continue to be highly recommended! ALL reservation requests are to be sent to


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