TORONTO — This week, Drake Hotel Properties invited local media to experience a preview of its latest project, Drake Mini Bar, which is set to open in Toronto’s financial district later this month.
Bill Simpson, COO of Drake Hotel Properties, kicked off the evening by introducing the concept and the team behind it. “We always make an inventive nod to unusual spaces and unique offerings,” he said. “This is our playful homage to that jewel-box of a bar that you might find at the end of a long winding laneway somewhere in Paris, Rome or Barcelona. It is [also] a nod and a wink to hotel bars — hence the name Mini Bar.”
“Drake Mini Bar is our smallest project yet: an intimate retreat where we have lovingly crafted every inch. It’s a reprieve of sorts from the intensity of the city core,” adds Jeff Stober, CEO and founder of Drake Hotel Properties.
Drake Mini Bar is also the company’s only single-artist space, featuring the work of Toronto-based artist Rajni Perera, including a wall-to-wall mural, a single piece (“I See Now”) presented on the secondary wall and painted tables inspired by Cartier sketched from the 1920’s.
The event featured a sampling of Mini Bar’s offerings, including cocktails (including non-alcoholic options) created by Drake resident bartenders Jeremy Cheng, Brittany Maguire and Stephen Prickett; house wine by Pandolfa; and a selection of “forward-thinking small plates with unexpected ingredients” — including a spiced duck breast with roasted pineapple, sea buckthorn and candied cashews; kohlrabi and apple salad with tomatillo, radish, watercress, jalapeño, cilantro and lime; and ocean trout crudo with bonito, chili vinaigrette, salmon roe and compressed wasabi cucumber.
“We really empowered our chef team, which has been here for a number of years, to make their stamp on things,” explained Simpson.
The restaurant’s culinary team includes corporate executive chef Ted Corrado, executive chef (Drake One Fifty and Mini Bar) Jonathan Pong and chef de cuisine Amancio Dos Santos. To help compensate for the kitchen’s tiny footprint, all house-cured charcuterie, handmade pasta, fresh bread and preserves will be prepared daily at the Drake Commissary in the Junction Triangle.
In addition to evening fare, Mini Bar — which will be open early to late — will feature breakfast and lunch offerings.
Located in the lobby of 150 York St., across from Drake One Fifty, the small venue features seating for 40, plus a 20-seat interior patio and is set to feature a 55-seat outdoor patio starting early this summer.