Lounge Lizards: Walkerville’s Metropole Lounge was the “In” Spot

Were you a lounge lizard? A Metropole Lounge Lizard?

Do you even remember the Metropole? Well, in the 1950s and 60s, it was one of  THE places to go in Windsor.

Owned by Nick Drakich, (brother Mike owned The Top Hat Supper Club downtown), it was located on Walker Road at Niagara in Olde Walkerville. Locals were treated to many big name acts while enjoying fancy cocktails and sumptuous food. I’ll never forget when my big sister Brenda got Ricky Nelson’s autograph there one night.

Check out those prices !!

Before it was the Metropole it was called “The Farmers’ Roost” also known as “The Farmer’s Rest” where area farmers would quench their thirst after bringing a load of grain into Hiram Walker’s, which is just a few blocks further north. It had a long porch across the Walker Road side.

The original part of the building (if it is still there) would be around 135 years old.

In later years it became California’s and boasted a beach volleyball court outside. You can still see the logo on one of the inside doors of it’s current incarnation, Big Tony’s Original Wood Fired Pizza Company. If you have any memories of the Metropole, Big Tony Gallippi would love to know about them. Please share them in the comments section below or on his facebook group.

Daniela Marentette shared this info on Big Tony’s facebook group: Many people came to perform at the Metropole such as Al Martino, Patti Page and John Gary. Joe Messina was the band leader and musical arranger. Berry Gordy, the creator of Motown, spent many nights there checking out acts and also liked the the owner’s daughter, who he later became friends with.

The Music Lives On!

Tony is hosting his 2nd Annual Jazz Blues Fest this weekend in his parking area. Tonight (Sat., Sept.10/11) is the final night; door opens at 5 pm and the music goes on until 12. In addition to fabulous Windsor and Detroit acts, there is an artist/crafters area, plus Chris Edwards and I are doing a book signing of our latest local history book: Windsor Then – a pictorial essay of Windsor, Ontario’s glorious past. Get a sneak peek at www.walkervilletimes.com.

$7 at the door benefits Breast Cancer Survivors Dragon Boat Races.

About Elaine Weeks

How history was taught in my day: memorize lots of boring dates and facts, watch corny old black & white history films. There was one bright spot, however. Grade 9 history at Walkerville Collegiate with Miss Falls (Georgina) when she taught a section on local history and took us on a field trip to explore some of Windsor's built heritage. Due to a series of peculiar events, celebrating local history became part of my business. My company, Walkerville Publishing Inc., (partner is Chris Edwards) launched "The Walkerville Times" in 1999 and we produced 61 issues - the last in 2016. In 2004, we began producing local history books; that year we released "Best of The Times Magazine". Our current titles include 5000 Ways You Know You're From Detroit, 500 Ways You Know You're From Windsor, Walkerville - Whisky Town Extraordinaire, and Windsor Then - A Pictorial Essay of Windsor's Glorious Past. I also wrote a novel, Time Trespasser, that blends time travel with local history. I am working on a sequel. I am a writer, editor, blogger, photographer, mother, wife, sister, activist, traveller, gardener, knitter, glass is nearly full person.
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3 Responses to Lounge Lizards: Walkerville’s Metropole Lounge was the “In” Spot

  1. Paul Sposite says:

    I have a recording of the Detroit group, The Four Scores preforming life at the Metroploe

  2. Clare says:

    When I was a kid, my uncle used to visit on his commercial trips for an office supply company and – in the summer – he always took my Mom and Dad and me out to dinner to celebrate “our” birthdays, his in August, mine in July. I remember one time in the fifties, we went to The Metropole for “smorgasbord”, a rather trendy thing at the time, long before the plethora of buffets. The thing I remember most clearly about the plaltial spread was the whole salmon, cooked, sliced and reassembled on a platter.

  3. Robert Malott says:

    First met my wife downstairs in the basement lounge,bar area.- 1966 – remember when there was a shooting downstairs – classy place but classier memories

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