By: Megan Pasche
“May you always have a clean shirt, a clear conscience and enough coins in your pocket to buy a pint.” Irish Toast
Stepping into Niagara Fall’s newest pub and restaurant, Doc Magilligans, is about as close to Dublin as we are going to get here in Niagara. The darkened nooks and crannies, the beer, the food, the atmosphere: this place is the real deal. All that’s missing are some thick Irish accents and a rainy weather forecast.
Doc Magilligan’s has replaced the former Croft Lounge, and as Lisa Smith, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Best Western Cairn Croft Hotel, noted, there was “a need for a new venue, one that serves a more broad base of clientele.” The pub serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, after work cocktails and has live entertainment five nights a week. Use #liveatdocs to get the latest entertainment info.
Doc Magilligans is absolutely unique in every way. The entire pub was built in Ireland, and was sent piece by piece over to Niagara. It was specially designed by a company called Bar None that is based in Nepean, Ontario and is responsible for designing and creating Irish pubs that are located in all corners of the world, each of them different.
In terms of the menu, it’s a far cry from what you may think of as typical pub food. Smith noted that during construction of the new space, “we cut our freezer space down to almost a quarter of what we had before. We are using fresh ingredients for our food, so we don’t need as much freezer space. That’s a testament to the fact that it’s fresh food.”
The menu items are pub style foods, but with a local Niagara twist. One example of that is Storms Meat and Deli, a Niagara Falls staple, who created a signature recipe just for Doc Magilligans. Smith said that other recipes on the menu are “heritage recipes that have been handed down from families both in the area and in Ireland.” You’ll want to try the Bangers and Mash, Madras Chicken Curry and Guinness Braised Steak and Mushroom Pie to name just a few of the delicious dishes available. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and brunch is served from 11 to 2 every Saturday and Sunday.
A sampling of some of the beer on tap are Guinness (obviously), Smithwick’s and Harp, and craft beers are featured monthly. There is plenty of entertainment, and as Smith said, the entertainment “takes on an Irish flavor. It’s Celtic, but modern Celtic.” Doc Magilligans is also the place to go to catch international sports games, where you can join other fans and get caught up in a good game of football. In other words: this place is fun.
As for where the name came from, it’s a name with a connection to the owners of the Cairn Croft, and follows the tradition in Ireland of naming pubs after family members. In the case of Doc Magilligan, he was the great great grandfather to Maureen Magilligan Cade, who serves as the Managing Owner of the Cairn Croft. As can be concluded from his name, Doc Magilligan was in fact a doctor, and so were two of his brothers, which was actually a pretty remarkable feat during that time in Irish history. As the story goes, not only was Doc a good and caring doctor, but he also enjoyed a pint every now and then, and would often head to the pub after a day of work to relax, unwind and spend time with his pals. So it is only fitting that Niagara’s newest pub is named after him.
Doc Magilligan’s is also the ideal location for special occasions and company and group functions. The capacity of the restaurant is 320, but there are many spots and even a snug that are perfect places to gather for a cozy evening filled with conversation.
This exciting new pub is the best place to go to get an authentic taste of Ireland, right here in Niagara. So, with all that said…sláinte!
Doc Magilligan’s is located in the Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel at 6400 Lundy’s Lane. You can also visit them online at www.docmagilligans.com