For a growing hospitality business, how to expand without undermining the venture’s founding principles is often a complicated question. Toronto’s Drake properties, one of the city’s most recognisable hospitality brands, hopes to answer it this week when its latest venture, the Drake Commissary, opens in the city’s formerly industrial west end.
We wanted to have a more interactive space, a front-of-house space, where you can see into the kitchen
The food-production facility will serve its three hotel and restaurant locations: the Drake Hotel, Drake 150 and the Drake Devonshire. The ambition, according to Sarah Lyons, the Drake’s food-and-beverage director, is to demonstrate that a large-scale kitchen facility does not need to be in an anonymous industrial corner of a city and that the produce itself can still be made by hand. “Commissary kitchens are usually in a big warehouse space. We felt that there was a great energy to the area and we’re really excited to join in.”