It may not be a bar where everybody knows your name, but they sure as heck have seen you shoveling your driveway. It’s a neighbourhood pub. Its busiest nights are between Monday and Friday as Porter Creek welcomes home its residents after a long day of work. And Bailey’s Pub and Grill may not be an Irish pub, as the name suggests, but they will play up the connection on St. Patty’s Day.
“Bailey is the name of my son,” explains Clayton Moore, who co-owns and operates the pub with his wife, Samantha. “He is definitely a character.” Moore has worked in restaurants since he was 17; at 19, he tried for his first liquor license. Four years ago, at the age of 25, he and his wife opened the pub after his Auntie Heather saw a suitable space in the Porter Creek Mall.
“I knew it would work,” he says today. “There is quite a good market for it. “There is minimum competition around, so, I took a risk and just got into it.”
Other than the lights behind the bar and the game on the televisions, the lighting is subdued and the walls and floor are a comforting blend of stonework and heavy woods. There are couches in one seating area, and, in the far corner where the band used to play from a stage, a sectional and television are set up as a sports centre.
But, to be a success, the food had to be outstanding. “Food is number one for sure,” he says. “The staff came up with most of it and the rest was market research to see what is being served around town and to see what is trending. “We went to Vancouver and checked out pubs. “Today, our food is pretty renown, a lot of people like it; we have a 4.5 on Trip Advisor, and it’s mostly raves about the food.”
But the research continues: they tried out six different types of chicken wings until they found one. “They come from Brazil and were free run,” says Moore. “Very tasty.”
Wings Wednesday was launched and, now, “Wednesday is one of our busiest nights. “I don’t like to toot my own horn, but they are awesome,” says Moore. Other comfort foods are here, too: Chicken fingers, poutine, 10 types of pizza, and nine different burgers, including the very popular Angry Bailey. “Our little guy does have a little temper on him,” Moore says of its namesake.
Most of the meats come from the far end of the mall at Stacey’s Butcher Block. Then there is the Roasted Garlic & Brie Platter, with melted Brie and roasted garlic bulbs, chutney, and seasonal fruit. Hold it. That’s Yuppie Food. “It is what it is,” Moore laughs uncomfortably. “We have gluten-free foods that people are going toward these days,” he explains. “You need to keep up with the trends. “In a business like this, you open the doors and pray that people come in.
“They don’t have to come in, so, when they do, you have to make them comfortable and make them want to come back. “It is feast or famine; some weeks it’s great and some it’s slow — like when it is -30°C out — that is why we are opening this other side, it gives people an option to grab their off-sales from us and have a big selection.”
Moore is referring to the addition that just opened. It is a takeout counter and off-sales location with a rustic elegance. The wine and beer selection, at first, will be based on data showing what sells in Whitehorse. But, then, the tweaking begins. And special orders can be brought in. His servers were having a difficult time answering the phone for takeout orders and handling offsales while still concentrating on the guests.
With the new space and two to three new employees, it is more efficient. And Bailey’s will start opening at 11 a.m. to feed the lunch crowd from neighbouring schools and industrial areas. There will be different-sized pizzas, pizza by the slice, wraps and sandwiches, too.
“There’s a lot of people who don’t want to go into a bar and that is reasonable,” says Moore. “They just want to be in and out.”
The pub is kid-friendly until 8 p.m. Takeout orders can be placed at 456-4742.