Inside Toronto Hot Spot Drake Commissary
Sprawled over 8,000 square feet in a historical brick building, Drake Commissary is a dynamic mashup of restaurant, bakery, take-out counter and cocktail bar. The latest venture from Drake Hotel founder Jeff Stober, it promises to do for Toronto’s Junction Triangle neighborhood what his hotels and shops did for Queen Street West and Prince Edward County, Ontario: transform an under-appreciated area into a bustling destination.
John Tong turned the building’s shortcomings to his advantage. “It had low ceilings and small windows, not qualities one fantasizes about,” he says. To play up the cozy factor, he covered the ceiling in plywood and furnished the space with refurbished vintage pieces, leather banquettes and patterned rugs in rich colors, all of which add warmth and a sense of fun.
Artwork curated by Mia Nielsen references the Junction Triangle’s history, with Mexican-American artist Adrian Esparza’s colorful thread art stretching across the windows in homage to the area’s past as a textile hub. An intricate 35-foot-long mural made by Toronto artist Alex Mcleod using 3D software reveals plywood castles, clouds made of stones and more. “I see something new every time I look at it,” says Mia.