We love it when we can raise a glass and toast Buffalo’s history – especially when we can literally raise a glass as we stand in a piece of it. Such is the case at The Mahony, a new pub located in the historic Fairmont Creamery building.
A quick check will tell you that the Fairmont Creamery was a Nebraska company that started as a “milk can pickup” business and expanded into other cities, including Buffalo. The building dates back to the 1920s. (We totally dig the timelessness of the “FC Co.” logo that still graces the front of the structure.)
The building – owned by Ellicott Development – now houses some businesses along with apartments for rent. We doubt the former Fairmont workers would recognize their own work haunt, with its new, sleek industrial look. (Undoubtedly they would enjoy the addition of a bar.)
The Mahony occupies a good portion of the first floor. Owned and run by Chef Brian Mahony, the space is designed in dark wood and gray tones. Pillars feature a Celtic-looking design that glows green, and the dining room space has a Celtic knot in the ceiling. We especially liked the bar area’s lights, which look like vintage bulbs with exposed filaments.
The wide-open space is a plus. Bar tables can be pushed together to make a party. But if you visit with co-workers, it will be fairly easy to escape Debbie Downer from accounting.
And while we have no doubt the bartenders would be happy to pour you a glass of milk (or cream) as you belly up to the bar, there are much better choices that are a buck off during happy hour, which runs from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Drafts (12 total) come in 12-ounce or pint sizes, ranging from $4.75 for a 12-ounce Sam Adams seasonal to $8 for a Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. Locals are represented, too, from Southern Tier, Hamburg and Flying Bison. A flight of three beers is $8.
Crafts by the bottle range from $6 to $7, with EBC and Hamburg among the local selections. Bottled brews start at $4.50 for those Bud Light, Coors Light and Labatt drinkers.
Cocktails range from $8 to $10, with old-school choices like a Sazerac, Sidecar and Blood and Sand. Fun stuff includes the Battle of New Orleans, which pits Bulleit bourbon against Herbsaint, an anise-flavored liquor. The Choke Artist, a concoction of Casamigos Tequila Reposado and something called Cynar, sounds dangerous. For summer, plan on slugging the Havana, a rum, Cointreau, lime and orange juice elixir.
The wine list is just right, with five whites, six reds and even one sparkling choice by the glass.
Starters are discounted at happy hour, too, starting with a lunch menu that crosses over into a dinner version. Most items carry over, like the homemade soft pretzels with jalapeno, ham and cheddar cheese dip, and the scrumptious-sounding pub steamed clams, done with bok choy, shiitake mushrooms and rice noodles in a lemon grass-cilantro broth. The pork verde tacos are available only through lunch, though.
We say go with the classically Buffalo wings (Buffalo, Southwest or barbecue styles), grab a drink and head out onto the westward-facing patio. Then, watch the sun set on a beautiful day in the new Buffalo.
Where: 199 Scott St. (Fairmont Creamery building; themahony.com)
Hours: Open at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday. Kitchen closes at 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, at 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Happy Hour: 3 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday with $1 off food and drinks.
Scene: Urban chic setting with patio.
Fun: Couches in The Fairmont’s foyer have cow pillows.
Yum: Homemade soft pretzel with jalapeno, ham and cheddar cheese dip