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.
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.