Dining at The Drake.
Reviewed by Ed Wetschler
THE BACKSTORY: By the 1980s Queen Street West was the pits. Between suburbanization and a mental health facility whose overflow filled the streets with characters who were forlorn, or worse, this east-west thoroughfare was run-down, to say the least. Sure, the neighborhood still had a century-old hotel, but it wasn't a hotel you'd have booked for your parents.
Jeff Stober, a computer guy who bought that hotel in 2001, has not only reinvented the property; he has created a gathering place that's revitalized the entire neighborhood. The Drake's eclectic design, artworks, lounges, restaurants, live music, and star power (yes, including Mick Jagger) attract the young and/or the hip every day, every night.