Swing open the tufted red leather doors, and you’ll hear Ray Charles crooning “I’ve Got A Woman.” Perched on a leather bar stool is a Givenchy-clad Audrey Hepburn. In a dimly lit velvet booth, David Lean drafts “Lawrence of Arabia.”
It might as well be 1960s Hollywood, but instead, it’s 2020 at Drake’s on Lovers Lane. The restaurant’s small black-and-white lobby is a portal into Vandelay Hospitality Group’s version of old school glamour.
Step into the dining room, and a mural of classic Hollywood stars fills the wall space. The intimate, amber-lit room features velvet booths, a red leather bar and plaid Ralph Lauren carpet. This showbusiness-inspired spot feels like the neighborhood’s own private club.
“My vision is for Drake’s to be a sexy and sophisticated place to hang out with friends for happy hours, early dinners for significant others, and weekend parties that last long into the night,” said Vandelay CEO Hunter Pond when Drake’s opened.
DID YOU KNOW?
The bathrooms are covered in a custom red wallpaper with monkeys happily drinking Smirnoff
Inspired by Los Angeles hangouts such as Delilah’s, Craig’s and The Nice Guy, Vandelay’s design team selected mostly custom fittings. The 4,000-square-foot space is centered around the bar, where guests hangout pre- and post-dinner. The handful of deep “baller booths” accommodates six to eight people.
Ice-cold martinis are Drake’s defining cocktail. Curated by Pond and executive chef Ozzy Samano, the menu ranges from a $98 tomahawk steak to $16 Melrose pizzas. And yes, they serve ranch with their pizza.
Pre-coronavirus, it took three months to score a reservation on a music-filled weekend. Fridays and Saturdays feature rotating DJs. Dinner hours are very much Rat Pack music until the DJ transitions into a mix of radio hits. A live jazz band plays on Sunday and Monday nights. But please, no requests.
Despite being a relatively new restaurant during a pandemic, Drake’s already has a slew of regulars and VIPs. That list is private, just like the name of the person who painted the interior mural and why monkeys are a design motif.
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