Announcing Drake Commissary

Posted by Drake, January 30, 2017
Drake Commissary 1

A counter display of freshly baked goods, salads, and other delights to eat in or take home

Drake Commissary is an 8,000 square foot creative culinary hub that will open spring 2017 in the Junction Triangle, at the site of a former manufacturing building and directly across from the iconic Tower Automotive Building + new home to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Toronto.

The multi-purpose space will function as a bakery, larder and bar; essentially, a casual, social neighbourhood hub, alongside The Drake’s culinary workshop, offering modern cafeteria-style or traditional table service with made-from-scratch, healthy foods to eat in or take home. Open sightlines allow 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 2

The Commissary will feature quick + efficient counter service

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, 7 days a week, including Sunday brunch. Shared tables, boldly upholstered sofas, hand-picked, vintage mid-century furniture and a curated collection of permanent and rotating artwork will complete the living room-like space.

"Drake Commissary is a wholly unique idea for Toronto, and one that we’ve been incubating for some time. It allows us to fulfill our mandate of serving healthful, nutritious food that we have made ourselves, from raw ingredient to final dish," said Jeff Stober, founder and CEO. "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. We believe there is a curious culture seeker in everyone, and this neighbourhood's deeply-rooted cultural and architectural history is a perfect fit for us to create another destination."

Drake commissary 3

A casual, fun + lively place to dine

The bakery will focus on producing a unique selection of breads 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 protein, vegetable and grain-based dishes using seasonal produce, freshly-smoked fish and meat, served with a variety of pickles, charcuterie, dressings and sauces, all made in-house.

Customers will be able dine in, get meals to go, or grab staples to fully stock their home pantry.

Today's Stone Ground Dark Rye Sourdough

A photo posted by @jonasg3 on

"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 flavor combinations and fully immerse ourselves in exploring old world grains and heritage flours, further perfecting our sourdough fermentation process is a dream come true," said Ted Corrado, Corporate Executive Chef. "I love that we get to further 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."

Drake charcuterie

House made charcuterie + bread

Like all other Drake properties, the Commissary is a loving restoration and renovation of a historical building, in an emerging neighbourhood with a strong sense of community.

commissary facade rendering

A loving restoration of an historical manufacturing building

Thick wooden beams and exposed brick walls will not only house a delectable selection of made-from-scratch foods, but will also be a place for Drake art and cultural programming through permanent and rotating art exhibitions, live music and community events.

John Tong and +tongtong Design will restore the space, respecting the industrial feel of the original building, while updating it with a classic Drake look.

"Our role working with The Drake has always been to help push innovative design; looking forward while being inspired by tradition and local culture. Integrating a sense of playfulness within our designs continually seeking to engage, delight and elevate casual luxury," said John Tong, principal, +tongtong.

A combination of textures, patterns and furniture, like the signature leather banquettes and custom bar stools, a playful mix of tile, wood, cork and marble details, open bar shelving, bold wallpapers and upholstery, a signature Drake photo booth, Drake TV and custom playlists, will make it feel like your Drake living room away from home.

drake catering 1

Drake Catering

The Commissary will also be home to the brand-new Drake Catering service, led by Marc Dorfman (Executive Director, Food and Beverage), Ted Corrado (Corporate Executive Chef), Sarah Lyons (Director, Food and Beverage), Ashely Arvai (Head of Catering Sales) and Matthew Ravenscroft (Catering Chef). It'll be a playground for the Drake team to experiment, innovate and offer high quality food made with select seasonal ingredients at any venue or location; essentially, Drake on the Road.

matt ravenscroft

Drake Catering Chef Matthew Ravenscroft

"This project was so much fun to conceive because it allowed us to push the ‘to be expected’ restaurant model. It’s the baking kitchen you’ve always wanted to see, the cafeteria you remember as a kid, a cultural hub you’ll love to hang out at and the TV room you were never allowed to eat in. And we get to play host," said Stober. "Collapsing the culinary lifecycle, in terms of creating, presenting, consuming and celebrating, into one town square, all centered on the joys of food, has been inspiring. At its core, we are doing what The Drake brand has always done - investing in neighborhoods, historic architecture, culture and innovative hospitality. That’s what this we are all about."

Stay up to date on our progress @drakecommissary and @thedrakehotel.

Posted in: Food + Drink