Drake Commissary Set to Open Spring 2017 in Junction Triangle
Newest property from The Drake will also house brand new Drake Catering division
Drake Hotel Properties is pleased to announce the latest addition to its growing hospitality brand, the innovative Drake Commissary, slated to open in spring 2017 on Sterling Rd., in the evolving Junction Triangle area. The 8,000-square foot creative culinary hub and production kitchen will take root at the site of a former manufacturing building directly across from the iconic Tower Automotive Building, MOCA’s new home. Head baker Jonas Grupiljonas will lead a team of bakers and chefs using artisanal techniques, like in-house baking, fermenting, smoking, preserving and pickling, to produce high quality, healthy dishes for guests to enjoy on site or take home. The large-scale production kitchen will supply baked goods and other prepared foods to all Drake locations and wholesale partners, as well being home base for the brand-new Drake Catering, launching Feb. 1.
Drake Catering is a full service, offsite catering operation with a creative, elevated selection of food and beverage offerings customizable for virtually any sized event and location. Drake Catering has also created a unique cultural menu, allowing clients to work with The Drake’s in-house art and design teams to choose immersive visual and performance art, bands and DJs, and table styling, décor and design elements perfectly suited to their event, creating a truly memorable and bespoke experience.
The Drake Commissary is a multi-purpose space that will function as a bakery, bar and larder; essentially, a casual, social neighbourhood hub, alongside The Drake’s culinary workshop, offering modern counter or traditional table service with made-from-scratch, healthy foods to eat in or take home. Open sightlines will enable guests to watch chefs at work, creating a form of ‘gastronomic town square’, allowing bakers, chefs, staff and customers to participate in an animated exchange around the creation, presentation and consumption of food.
“Drake Commissary is a wholly unique idea for Toronto, and one that we’ve been incubating for some time. It allows us to continue our mandate of serving healthful, nutritious food that we have made ourselves, from raw ingredient to final dish, in a fun and interesting environment,” said Jeff Stober, founder and CEO of The Drake. “We are so excited to become a part of the Junction Triangle community, and restore another heritage building in an emerging arts district – it reminds us of starting out on West Queen West and all the possibility that existed then.”
The bakery will produce a unique daily selection of bread and pastries. Slowly fermented doughs will be the base for the sandwiches and pizzas, baked fresh throughout the day. The kitchen will provide a menu centered on high quality, healthy dishes focused on grains, seasonal vegetables, proteins like smoked and cured fish and meat, and served with a variety of pickles, dressings and sauces, all made in house. Customers will be able to dine in, pick up fully prepared meals to go, or grab speed-scratch staples to fully stock their home pantry.
“We’ve been working out of a small production kitchen on West Queen West for several years, so the opportunity to expand our kitchen and baking space with the Commissary, play with the freshest local produce creating new dishes and flavour combinations, fully immerse ourselves in exploring old world grains and heritage flours, and further
perfect our sourdough fermentation process is a dream come true,” said Ted Corrado, Corporate Executive Chef. “I love that we get to push our commitment to elevate comfort classics, make healthy food that tastes indulgent and use the best quality seasonal, local ingredients as much as possible.”
The blend of daytime counter service and evening table service will offer guests the option to dine any time of day, along with coffee, cocktails, beer and wine, seven days a week, including weekend brunch.
The space will respect the bones of the original historical manufacturing building, while John Tong and the +tongtong team will update it with a classic Drake aesthetic. Design features include exposed brick, a living room-inspired dining space with bespoke, boldly upholstered sofas and vintage mid-century furniture, shared tables, a playful mix of textures and materials, and a curated collection of permanent and rotating artwork to inspire every guest.
In keeping with The Drake’s long history of partnering with neighborhood charitable organizations, the Drake Commissary is committed to ongoing community outreach, particularly through culinary mentorship and education.
After 13 years of successful large-scale event execution, most notably at the WayHome VIP and artist hospitality sections in 2015 and 2016, the expanded production space of the Drake Commissary will allow the team to formally launch Drake Catering. Headed up by seasoned catering and events professionals Marc Dorfman (Executive Director, Food & Beverage), Matt Ravenscroft (Catering Chef) and Ashley Arvai (Head of Sales & Catering), the new business will offer full service event planning and execution, design, décor, art, entertainment, and of course, diverse menus of signature and new Drake food and drink.
“In my 17 years of working in the catering industry, I can honestly say that the team has developed a catering offering that is unlike anything else I’ve seen in Toronto,” says Dorfman, who recently joined The Drake after 17 years at the helm of the Four Seasons food and beverage operation. “We wanted to take everything that’s special about an experience with us onsite, and translate it into something completely customizable that retains the creative spark of The Drake. The presentation and inventiveness of the dishes, paired with our unique menus of art, culture, music and decor to suit any event or location, all underpinned by flawless execution and service, will help us create truly decadent, unforgettable events for our clients.”
Menu offerings include a wide variety of dishes suitable to a cocktail party, large gala, milestone birthday, corporate celebration and everything in between; for every meal of the day and in a range of serving styles – passed, strolling, live cooking stations, plated meals and more. The culinary team will offer regular classic menu items alongside new dishes that change seasonally, and will work with clients to create custom menus. More information, including sample menu items and more details about the innovative art and cultural menus available here.