We call it the Cartoon for a reason. Most cartoons contain serious amounts of violence. Mind you, the Carlton has calmed down considerably over the years. It's one of Hamilton's oldest "living room" draft houses. Let me explain.
There are 2 crowds that attend the Carlton. The day crowd, and the night crowd.
The day crowd use the Carlton as an extension of their living room. Many of the regulars live alone but dislike drinking alone, so they sit in the Carlton instead, and drink draft by the pairs, just like the old days. These regulars expect to be treated the same was you would treat them if you were in their home - in their living room. The day crowd clears out at shift change, around 6pm. Those that stick around after that can get themselves into some trouble. Day crowds and night crowds don't mix.
There's usually a bit of a quiet stint before the night crowd is fully engaged. The Carlton sits in one of the toughest inner-city neighbourhoods in Canada. I mean, it... is .. tough. High crime rates. One of the highest incidence of poverty in the country. Serious drug problems. The Carlton is smack dab in the middle of it. So I'll leave it to your imagination what the night crowd is like.
That doesn't mean you can't go to this little hole-in-the-wall and have some fun, because you can. They have cheap products, a pool table, dart boards (with the accompanying sharp objects), a juke box, and from time to time live entertainment and karaoke. But if you go in looking for trouble, you'll find plenty - so bring money for bail in that case.