Mahony & Sons closes their original location, launches huge re-brand

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After a 14-year-run serving up beers to newly-minted legal drinkers and many a student celebrating surviving exams (or avoiding studying altogether), Mahony & Sons has announced they’ve closed their UBC location.

The exterior of Mahony & Sons at UBC. Photo by @_masterofone_ via Mahony & Sons UBC/Facebook

In a social media post shared Aug. 1, the pub mini-chain revealed that they were shuttering the campus location that same day.

“To all our great patrons, friends and supporters of Mahony & Sons UBC, The Mahony family thanks you all for your support and the great times we have shared.
After 14 years on campus, our last day of business will be today, August 1st.
We will miss UBC and all the wonderful people, partners, and friendships we have made. We wish you all the best and hope to see you soon at one of our other locations!”

The UBC Mahony & Sons was one of three locations for the Irish-inspired pubs in Vancouver, and the first opened by the Mahony family, back in 2006.

Two locations, one in Coal Harbour and one in Stamps Landing (the latter launched in 2014 in the space beloved as Monk McQueens for 26 years prior), remain in operation.

However Mahony & Sons seem to be going through a big re-brand, as their website is undergoing a massive update (a “coming soon!” message greats those who land there) and their name and slogan has been modernized to be simply “mahony: The Art of Casual Consumption” – a big shift from their more old world Irish pub identity.

One clue to their new identity came in the form of a recent announcement from Mahony that they have partnered up with high-profile Vancouver chef and restaurateur Vikram Vij.

In a media release, the restaurant explains: “With over a decade of successful hospitality, Mahony & Sons is refreshing their concept of classic pub fare, by infusing the social spirit of a pub with the bold, warm flavours of south Asian street food by the legendary talent of Chef Vikram Vij.”

Chef Vikram Vij (left) & Chef Liam Dougall (right), mahony Stamps Landing. Photo courtesy mahony Restaurants

“Evolving to a truly modern pub with cuisine that’s as exceptional as our locations meant searching for the right partner,” said Pete Mahony, President, mahony Restaurants. “We offer an incredible social experience and wanted a celebrity chef to raise the bar on our classic pub food and really standout from the thousands of other restaurants/bars in Vancouver. Chef Vikram Vij’s inspired approach to cooking bridges the gap between cultures. He’s the ideal partner for reinventing yesterday’s pub for today. We see this evolution as the future of gastropubs.”

Here’s a little more:

“Chef Vikram in collaboration with mahony Executive Chef Liam Dougall, has designed a new menu with beloved classics along with spiced up ‘pub’ fare.  Crafted with local ingredients, traditional items include a 100% all-natural beef patty served on a Terra Breads brioche bun or Ocean Wise Pacific cod in a Guinness batter both with handcut fries. Uniquely Vikram inspired dishes include a fresh interpretation of pizza with handmade naan bread crust available in 4 different styles, a Vikram ‘bunny’ chow served in a Terra Breads sourdough bread bowl, and a gluten free paneer pakora made with chickpea flour served with mint and onion chutney.”

While gastropubs really hit their peak of popularity about when Mahony & Sons settled in at UBC  it should be interesting to see what comes of this partnership, and how the new “mahony” goes over with its beer-and-pub grub loyalists.

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome, and the co-host and co-producer of the Vancouver Is Awesome Podcast. A fifth generation Vancouverite and life-long foodie, Lindsay also serves as a judge for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of LAist.com, in her past life in L.A. she earned an MA in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com // Twitter/Instagram: @squashblossom