Boycott Mahony&Sons

Posted by: | April 13, 2007 | 13 Comments

oops, I think the image is by Greg Stegeman


13 Comments so far

  1. Justin McElroy on April 13, 2007 6:09 pm

    I find this to be an incredibly narrow and flawed view. The implication inherent in this thinking is that M&S and the student-run places/events that serve alcohol on campus are in direct competition with each other. Therefore, any money a student spends at M&S is money that is not going to our student societies.

    This idea is patently false.

    First of all, M&S is the only full-service restaurant within a walking distance for the thousands of students (and others) who live in the UBC area. Therefore, it fits a variety of different needs for a variety of different people, at a variety of different times. Sure, there are times when a UBC student will go M&S for beer (or food) when he/she would otherwise have gone to the Pit/Gallery/etc., but I would wager this composes an incredibly miniscule portion of M&S revenue. Yes, private businesses on campus competing with AMS services for student dollars may not be the most ideal situation – but let’s not think that they can’t coexist with one another.

  2. Matthew Naylor on April 13, 2007 7:17 pm

    M&S stated, explicitly, that they would not cater to students (Oh, and the Pendulum is a restaurant as well, might I add), but have unequivocally broke this promise – Thursday is Student Night at Mahoney’s, for god’s sake. This is a case of dishonesty, and I additionally think that it is ridiculous to state (without backup, by the way) that people don’t go to Mahoney’s in lieu of the Pit or Gallery, especially when Alcohol Revenues for the AMS continue to drop. (THERE’S some hard evidence). My major contest is with the full bar licence that Mahoney’s has after being a restaurant. They DO cater to students, and DO eat into student business revenue.

  3. Justin McElroy on April 13, 2007 8:03 pm


    Please do not charge that “it is ridiculous to state (without backup, by the way) that people don’t go to Mahoney’s in lieu of the Pit or Gallery” when I state “there are times when a UBC student will go M&S for beer (or food) when he/she would otherwise have gone to the Pit/Gallery/etc.”. And the pendulum is a fine restaurant, but it isn’t open for dinner 3 nights a week, and focuses on lighter fare – not taking anything away from it, but rather reinforcing my main point that M&S fills a void in the greater community.

    I would agree that it’s unfortunate that “Thursday is Student Night at Mahoney’s” is unfortunate, but if students decided to boycott that, they would stop promoting that event. I do think the problem of Alcohol Revenues for AMS dropping is an issue that needs to be dealt at, however, I would also say that Cafe Crepe is equally guilty, if not more so, in this regard – a quick look inside their building at 10pm on a Friday is all the evidence you need!

  4. Tim Louman-Gardiner on April 13, 2007 9:06 pm

    I’m torn.

    On one hand, the AMS ought to be in the business of meeting students’ needs. It seems clear – if students are choosing Mahony’s over The Pit, then it’s reasonable to infer that that Mahony’s is doing a better job of meeting students’ needs.

    On the other hand, the businesses fund the AMS services and everything else the AMS does. And it’s in the interests of the University community to support the AMS service provisions; one way they could do that would be to restrict direct competition w/ the AMS.

    Let’s dispense with the idea that the UBlvd and Strangway businesses aren’t competing with students – they are. They hold social events for on-campus groups that otherwise might have been in the SUB. Students go to Cafe Crepe over the Pendulum. And, from the looks of it, they might be doing a better job.

    So that’s why I’m torn. One thing’s for sure – Mahony’s is RIDICULOUSLY over-priced. Yikes.

  5. Patrick on April 13, 2007 11:30 pm

    Mahoney’s is priced the same as the Delta Lion, the Mahoney’s other pub…

    And yeah, its overpriced.

    Im personally torn when it comes to the place, I was employed by the Mahoneys for over a year a while back. They were the best employers I have ever had, and even were fantastic enough to transition me from kitchen work to front of house work (something that is virtually never done in the industry).

    Awesome people, and I want to support them… buuut…

    Its not an AMS business and its taking away from AMS Services.

    And thats kinda the breaker.

    I have eaten there on occasion, and even went to drink there last weekend, as the Put Pub wasnt putting on the game because of a local show, despite the blatant demand for hte game (Mahoneys was packed with people that also LEFT the Pit).

    I do avoid there, and rarely eat or drink there on the basis, but damnit, it DOES fill a niche that the AMS doesnt, as much as it DOES directly compete.

    Same goes for Cafe Crepe, which I would argue is possibly even worse for AMS businesses as they’re cheap and minor friendly.

    I think its time the AMS take a long look at its businesses, particularly the Gallery, and regear it in some way to be more amenable to students.

    What is that regearing? Perhaps uniting the Bagel joint with the Gallery in a more seamless way and improving the menu. Perhaps in trying to nuance our liquor license in order to be more minor friendly like Cafe Crepe.

    Its very difficult, and I certainly dont have all the answers (or even most…) but I think its time to reassess our businesses to improve their competitiveness with the New UBC Order

  6. Gina Eom on April 14, 2007 2:04 am

    They were the best employers I have ever had, and even were fantastic enough to transition me from kitchen work to front of house work (something that is virtually never done in the industry).

    I’m glad you had this experience. That doesn’t mean that the AMS doesn’t treat its employers poorly. I suppose your experience factors into your perception of the place, but just to offer alternative views, two of my girl-friends quit from M&S because they felt they were not treated respectfully.

    I’m not disqualifying your judgement, I’m simply pointing out that’s subjective.

  7. Patrick on April 14, 2007 2:43 am

    I never said, nor even inferred that the AMS doesnt treat its employees well…

    They (Mahony’s) treat their crew a damned sight better than any other pub or restaurant Ive worked at.

    That doesnt really change whether or not you should go there, in fact, its apples and oranges.

    People shouldnt boycott them because of their business practices, people should (if you believe this, as I tend to) boycott it because a non AMS run business, and thus it leaches money out of the UBC system.

    I merely added the bit about my experiences to point out that they ARE a fantastic family (all like 15 mahony’s, I kid you not, theres a million of em), but they arent students… which is whatthe decision should be made based on.

  8. Gina Eom on April 14, 2007 2:47 am

    I realise the context Patrick, I am pointing out that this statement “they ARE a fantastic family” is highly subjective.

  9. David on April 14, 2007 5:54 am

    Gina, pointing out that someones personal statement is subjective is kind of unnecessary, don’t you think?

    Much like Tim, I am torn on the issue, but as much as it pains me, I have to go with the if you can’t compete, then you have no business complaining. I know AMS needs the revenue, but maybe they should earn it? If people enjoy the overpriced beer at Mahoneys and the delicious crepes, then AMS has to find something better to compete.

    Mahoney’s definitely fills a restaurant void, because the Pendulum is terrible (gasp, subjective!) and doesn’t serve hardly anything resembling dinner for a full grown person who might want a burger or something filling.

    I think the AMS businesses just have to buck up and compete.

  10. kate on April 14, 2007 3:43 pm

    Yeah I have to agree that the Pendulum is just not that great. The seating area’s small and I always remember the menu choices being very limited.

    Also, they tend not to be open whenever I go to eat. Perhaps I just have the worst timing in the world…

  11. Spencer on April 14, 2007 11:10 pm

    I would argue that this wouldn’t be a problem if AMS executives in the past (and I include myself) hadn’t been so unwilling to at least propose a fee referendum letting fees go up automatically by CPI. Services that people want should be paid for through fees and business revenue should be spent on things like renovations, club grants, and other non-operational things but now the AMS is dependent on its business revenue.

  12. christine on April 17, 2007 12:34 am

    There’s a lot to be said, in my opinion, on the very atmosphere of the establishments in question. the decor and ambience of both M&S and cafe crepe are vastly superior (in my mind, at least) to the Pit, which is frankly, very aptly named (that is, a dark, windowless, low-ceilinged…pit.), and the Gallery, while better, which is, in essence, a furnished, windowless room with a bar at one end and a stage at the other and little else. In order to be competitive (which I think would be more productive than boycotting private businesses), perhaps overhauls of either (or both) the aesthetics of these AMS establishments and/or the target market. Perhaps if one (or both) of these places stepped it up a notch (they’re both on the low end of casual), they would enjoy better student business.

    As for beer gardens, it seems this year that it’s hard to get beer gardens going and/or keep them running with the UBC RCMP detachment going crazy with liquor licenses.

    There is also the issue of operating hours; the Pit stops serving food at what, 7, 8 pm? most ams businesses are long locked up around dinner time. Fact of the matter is, most students are on a pretty wild schedule, and it’s nice to be able to get something to eat on campus later in the night.

    Keep in mind that these private businesses are owned by real people too; it’s not their fault that the real estate they’re renting happens to be in ‘AMS territory.’ I really don’t think boycotting these places and running them out of business is a reasonable nor the best way of handling things. Perhaps the loss in revenue will cause the AMS to step up a little in terms of how they allocate students’ money and how they operate their own businesses.

    That all said, on another note, is there some local by-law or something that’s preventing an on-campus 24-hr coffee shop? because, man, that place would rake it in.

  13. Anonymous on April 22, 2007 9:31 pm

    I went to Mahony and Sons yesterday and a simple Sprite, filled to the brim with ice, cost $3.60. Two days earlier I went to the Gallery a beer cost less than that. I think I know where I’m going to get my drink on.

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