By Ryan Lewis
A proper pint and a good craic, coming to a neighborhood near you! Mahony & Sons is set to open a third location at Stamps Landing (once Monk McQueens) this week and I was lucky enough to be on hand when they shared a little about the new location, design inspiration and family tradition.
Proprietors Chris, Peter, Mike, Gerard and Paddy Mahony have taken special care to ensure an authentic Irish pub experience with selection of original Gaelic art and custom millwork (all directly from Ireland) whilst still taking advantage of the spectacular false creek scenery from the 300 seat patio. Truly a space for all seasons I can see myself settling in for a pint of stout and a lamb stew on a cold November night, but for now we still have a few weeks left in our ever so short patio season so I’m going to make the best of that.
At 10000 square feet and seating for 600+ it can be difficult to provide that intimate experience you might expect from an Irish pub, but the boys have tackled that by offering a number of seating options both inside and out. There are multiple private rooms for smaller groups, a mix of bar, high-top, standard and lounge type seating, four patios, including the private sunset patio perfect for medium sized groups. Add the massive double-sided fireplace and option for seating on either ground or second level and I guarantee there is and option for every size and type of group. You can even catch the false creek ferry over from downtown or tie up your dingy if you are lucky enough to own something bigger…
Head Chef Paul Nguyen was on hand to take me through a tasting that featured a number of dishes from the menu. Though internationally inspired, it features enough traditional Irish fare to keep even the purists happy. The food was surprisingly good, (not that I had low expectations) the dishes all flavourful and well presented. I must admit pubs often miss the mark in this department, with focus mainly on the drinks side of things. Even better, the vast majority of the dishes are under the $20 mark.. Need I say more? Oyster and seafood lovers out there can also rejoice, Mahony & Sons at Stamps Landing has decided to continue the tradition of the oyster bar, which was the most celebrated element from the previous regime.
Another menu feature that I must mention is the focus on local, high quality suppliers for the ingredients in the range of dishes. In a city where diners can be fickle you must be continuously evolving to keep current, but supporting local businesses providing superior quality products never gets old for me.
The drinks menu is well thought out and reasonably concise, offering a little of everything to compliment the range of Irish beers, whiskeys and a few types of cider. The wine menu has a balance of well known favourites with a few bold selections mixed in, and again the theme of something to suit everyone purveys.
It should not come as a surprise really, that this family run business has been able to convey a certain sense of home despite having multiple locations and employing over 250 Vancouverites. They have, after all, been in the pub business for well over a century.