August 22, 2014
Jun 29, 2011
09:04 AM

Drake BBQ pops down to make way for more pop-ups and some pretty serious Drake expansions

Goodbye pulled pork, hello construction (Image: Connie Tsang)

Goodbye pulled pork, hello construction (Image: Connie Tsang)

It was a good run while it lasted. For the past eight months, pop-up restaurant Drake BBQ has been cooking up some of the best pulled pork and beef brisket in the city. Over the weekend, The Drake Hotel announced via Twitter that it will be closing its takeout barbecue shop on July 2 to focus on its Dining Roadshow. We’re also told that some significant expansions will be taking place.

Bill Simpson, the The Drake Hotel’s general manager, says that while nothing is set in stone as of yet, The Drake will be undergoing construction for roughly a year and a half, possibly starting this fall. Tentative projects include the addition of a couple dozen hotel rooms (there are currently 19), an elevator and some “interesting” new architectural elements.

But let’s get down to what matters most: what does this mean for the restaurant? The dining room will be expanded, Simpson says, and patrons could potentially see a new open kitchen as well as a wood-burning oven. The Drake may expand its sushi concept, and is looking into the possibility of a stand-alone sushi bar.

It’s almost enough consolation to warrant the closing of Drake BBQ. Almost. The pop-up was pretty much perfectly timed for Toronto’s meat and barbecue obsession. At least there’s always Barque, and hey, maybe even Buster Rhino’s.

The Drake will continue to operate normally, for the most part, for the duration of construction.

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