Canadian rapper Drake, née Aubrey Graham, just opened a restaurant in Toronto. It’s not the first time the sweater-sporting entertainer has gotten involved with a restaurant in his home city — he was responsible for naming Fring’s, chef Susur Lee’s restaurant also owned by one of Drake’s business partners, Angelo Ferraro. Not surprisingly, Drake’s also behind the new restaurant’s name — it’s called Pick 6ix, a reference to a football play and Drake’s nickname for Toronto — but this will be the first time the rapper has an ownership stake.
Pick 6ix is a partnership between Drake’s record label Ovo and Montreal chef Antonio Park’s restaurant group, Eater Montreal reports. Drake’s business partner Nessel “Chubbs” Beezer is also involved. And the restaurant, in downtown Toronto, is now officially open and taking reservations. Here’s everything you should know.
There’s a serious chef behind the project
Park, known for Montreal restaurants Park Restaurant and Lavanderia, will be running the show at Pick 6ix. The chef met Drake at a birthday party for basketball player LeBron James and, he tells Food & Wine, couldn’t pass up the opportunity to partner. ”Drake represents Toronto in the best way possible,” Park says. “He’s the city’s unofficial ambassador, so how could I refuse to partner with someone who’s so excited about the city and celebrates it wherever he is in the world?”
Park is involved in a total of 14 restaurants in Montreal, all of which source food from his three-acre farm outside of the city. He hopes to one day make Park 6ix a farm-to-table restaurant, too.
Pick 6ix is a combination restaurant/lounge/sports bar
The 178-seat restaurant, with a patio that seats 100 more, will be a cross between a casual restaurant, upscale lounge, and sports bar. There are “screens everywhere” and early Instagram photos show velvet ropes, plush banquettes, and glossy surfaces. But as Park tells the Toronto Star, “It’s something affordable for everyone and I want to provide for families and couples who wouldn’t normally go to a sports bar.”
Park won’t serve typical sports bar fare, and told the Toronto Star he wants to keep prices at around $50 per person. Contributing to a lounge vibe, Pick 6ix will also have a wall of champagne and serve sake and cocktails from Montreal barman Lawrence Picard.
The food will highlight Toronto’s diversity
Park, who was born to Korean parents but grew up in South America, says Pick 6ix “celebrates multiculturalism.” In Montreal, the chef runs a sushi restaurant and an Argentine restaurant, among others, and the menu at his restaurant with Drake will reflect South American and Japanese influences.
There will be a raw bar with seafood platters and sushi, “open-face gyoza” that reference Argentinian empanadas, and “lobster spaghetti à la Montréal,” a decadent dish of butter-poached lobster over veal-beef bolognese and topped with Grana Padano cheese. A braised Korean-style short rib is inspired by a recipe from Park’s great grandmother, Food & Wine reports.
Drake had a small influence on the menu
Park tells the Toronto Star, “I asked him things like what kind of vegetable he likes and he said broccoli, so we did a broccoli dish where we blanch it, cover it with Japanese seasonings like nori and miso, some mizuna, top it with cheese, and then it’s finished in the oven.”
Drake will hold court from a private room in back
Pick 6ix will have a VIP room at the front of the space and a separate private room for Drake in back. When Drake isn’t around, non-famous guests are allowed to rent out the room, in case eating that broccoli dish inside Drake’s restaurant isn’t enough to fully express Drizzy fandom.