After a soft opening last Wednesday, The Mahony at The Fairmont is now operational. This is one of the cases, where walking up to the building is as impressive as walking in to the building. For years the Fairmont Creamery sat isolated, abandoned, and in pretty sad shape. Today, the building is lit up, and alive with mixed-use occupants.
The Mahony is one of those places that you might want to take an out of town business associate. There’s a neat little lounge where office workers and restaurant patrons can wait for their
Uber car taxi to arrive. It’s also the perfect place to wait for friends to pull up. Just past the outer lounge is a wall, featuring plenty of glass. Walk through a door and you find a super long bar that looks as if it belongs inside a relaxed country club (I mean that in the best way). The bar offers plenty of room to spread out, with drinks, food, phones, laptops, etc.
The Mahony is lit with plenty of indirect lighting, keeping consistent with the clubby atmosphere. Sleek meets industrial in a sophisticated setting, with glowing glass orbs overhead, and a Gaelic looking motif that includes lit elements on the mushroom columns, and playful designs in the ceiling tiles. The appeal of the grey, wood grain bartop is mimicked in a splash of runway in the floor. I love the barfront that resembles the bowing ribs of a ship, or that of old cask barrels. I also like that the flatsceen TVs are not ‘in your face’ – they are positioned at either end of the bar.
The healthy tap system features plenty of local selections. I opted to try out the Ellicott Stainless Steel IPA as I browsed around the place. I found myself enjoying the music selection (chef’s iPod) that rattled off obscure songs from some top music talents. At one point, I even heard a live Grateful Dead tune from some random concert. I felt very comfortable barside – there was just enough natural lighting to know what the weather was doing outside, without being blinded as I sipped my beer.
The neighborhood is eclectic. It’s also the exact place where Buffalo first got its development mojo started – the Elk Terminal Lofts are located directly next door, where around 25 additional units are currently being built out. The Mahony is also near The Cobblestone District and Canalside, while being far enough away to give it its own distinction.
The subdued green colors that are infused into The Mahony are clever. I absolutely love the illuminated mason jar wall in the exapnsive dining room. The mason jar theme is also seen in the cute shotglasses that are stacked on the backbar. The bar and the dining room are removed from one another, creating two distinct vibes. There is a side room that does connect the two in a casual dining/drinking kind of way.
As I sat at the bar, I did notice that there was a lot of foot traffic coming in and out of the building, and a couple of girls seated at the end of the bar sounded as if they lived upstairs. What a convenience, to have a restaurant/bar at your beckon call. I didn’t get a chance to eat while I was there – the menu boasts a worldly pub fare.
During my visit, I did notice a few things that I would have changed, but that most people might not even have an issue with. One of them is not even the restaurant’s fault – one of the doors on the exterior of the building could have made a first rate statement with wood, instead of being utilitarian steel. I also felt that this is the type of establishment that could use some real candles, and not the electric kind, which is what I hear might be coming – ugh. I also can’t stand it when a giant metal HVAC system disrupts the elegance of a place. Can someone please come up with some affordable and attractive HVAC?
Despite a couple of minor aesthetic flaws (in my mind), The Mahony is very stylish and well done. Lovers of old architecturally significant buildings will be happy with the buildout. The mix of casual and clubby will suit a wide array of people, who will all feel at home.
I will definitely add this place as a stomping ground when I’m at the waterfront this summer – I hope that they do something patio-wise.
While The Mahony has an awesome dining room, with a full window into the kitchen, I personally love the aesthetic flavor of the bar, and being surrounded by the buzz of the building. Ultimately, one can’t go wrong either way.