The Fairmont Creamery Company building is one of those structures in Buffalo that could easily have had a tragic end, but thanks to the Paladinos and Ellicott Development, the commanding building has been restored to a new glory. Its eight stories welcome you downtown as you drive along the 190, in some way announcing the renaissance of the city that is upon us.
The 120,000 square foot edifice was originally built in 1920 as a cold storage facility for the Fairmont Creamery Company. Ellicott Development purchased the building in 2001 and the $14.6 million renovation included a new roof, new windows, and a complete interior makeover to create a mixed-use complex consisting of modern loft-style office spaces, apartments, banquet facilities, and businesses along with on-site parking. The building is also home and to Pegula Sports and Entertainment, whose offices are located on the second floor. The newest tenant to claim space is Brian Mahony who will be opening his first restaurant, “The Mahony-Fairmont, A Great American Eatery.” With this addition the building is at 100% occupancy according to Ellicott Development CEO, Bill Paladino.
Mahony is a Western New York native who grew up in Williamsville. He spent 13 years on the West coast, graduating from the California Culinary Academy and was classically trained in French cuisine in the South of France. While out West he worked at four and five-diamond resorts including the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. Since then he has returned to Western New York and has spent the past eight years as the Executive Culinary Director at the Salamanca Casino.
Mahony is now taking the plunge on his own and launching his new restaurant at the Fairmont, expected to open March 14th. The eatery, in Mahony’s words, “Is a tribute to ethnic diversity in America,” featuring Asian, Mexican and Italian foods. He says that lunch fare will be his interpretation of international pub food while the dinner menu will be escalated a few notches to where diners will enjoy a four-star dining experience. Owner/chef Mahony has written nine menus, and is planning to offer side menus with weekly themes revolving around varying countries such as France, Italy, and Mexico. Also planned are food flights, bourbon tastings, wine pairings, and beer flights. In-house condiments dubbed One Gringo Jammin’ Premium Sauces have been created by Mahony and include Carlianne’s Habenero Hot Sauce, Marjorie’s Sundried Tomato and Sweet Pepper Sauce, AD Mahony’s Steak Sauce, BVM Bloody Mary Mix, and Rahayu’s Pacific Rim Sauce. Mahony says he will offer something for everyone, from burgers to a gourmet meal at moderate prices.
According to Mahony, the 5,300 square foot space “will have an Irish/English pub atmosphere with a lot of character, but it will not be dark, it will have a contemporary feel.” To enter the eatery from the foyer of the Fairmont, one will walk through two eight-foot glass doors and be welcomed by the uniquely designed, large scale bar. The top of the bar has the appearance of reclaimed wood but is made out of concrete by beloved Buffalo artist Jonathan Casey (Solid716). Actual reclaimed wood was used to create the bar rail, and the sides of the bar are patterned with wine staves, the slender arcs of wood that form the sides of a wine barrel. The details for the bar design came from the creative imagination of Lisa DeCarlo of Urban Design in East Aurora while the primary restaurant design was the work of Laura Wax of L2K Design of Buffalo. The restaurant area will have unique lighting and custom built tables made by Mahony himself along with his brother Jim.
The space was so beautiful to begin with, with brick walls and lily pad columns, that we didn’t want to lose that warmth so we went with exposed brick walls and exposed ceilings.
Architect Ben Siegel of BMS Design Studio states, “The overall concept was to create a highly adaptable space that could cater to large corporate parties, the Sabres’ crowd, or your typical Buffalo happy hour and dinner service. We wanted to create a modern space while still tying in some traditional Irish Pub elements. The space was so beautiful to begin with, with brick walls and lily pad columns, that we didn’t want to lose that warmth so we went with exposed brick walls and exposed ceilings.”
With Mahony at the helm in the kitchen, he will additionally employ about 40 full-time and part-time employees as cooks, bartenders, servers, and hosts/hostesses, providing a healthy boost to Buffalo’s economy and well-being.
In-house condiments dubbed One Gringo Jammin’ Premium Sauces have been created by Mahony and include Carlianne’s Habenero Hot Sauce, Marjorie’s Sundried Tomato and Sweet Pepper Sauce, AD Mahony’s Steak Sauce, BVM Bloody Mary Mix, and Rahayu’s Pacific Rim Sauce.
Buffalo is certainly earning itself a reputation as an epicurean delight. Unique restaurants are opening with relative frequency that are backed by experience and quality. For many suburbanites, driving into the city is a weekly event to check out what’s new. For city-dwellers, urban living has never been better. Buffalonians are a hearty group who love our city and all it has to offer, which is a lot thanks to newcomers like Mahony who are happily adding to the dynamic establishment of gastronomic experiences available here in Western New York.