I can't say enough positive things about the food, service and event coordinator, Andrew. This is the third year that our school staff has gone to The Phoenix for our Christmas party. Having been at many of the other hotels in the area for events, nothing even comes close to the attention to detail that the Esposito's and their team give to an event. We have around 165 people every year and they are thrilled with the food, atmosphere and excellent service that the staff provides. Please don't take the other negative responses that I read seriously. I'm sure when they first opened it was difficult to estimate staffing for crowds on nights where there were events at the arena. You really need to try this establishment.
Went to the Rain concert last night and expected to treat my wife to a nice meal beforehand. Thank God the concert was good because the food was atrocious. We will never see the inside of this establishment ever again
I'm a tour driver and I took me and my 18 passengers to Finnegan's after a tour of the eco-dairy [very cool place btw]. I cant express how great the experience was...the portion size of everyone's meals were huge, I had the steak sandwhich which was excellent, done perfectly with a ton of extras, fries, onion rings, salad,bread...all prepared as requested.
Everyone else in the group couldn't have been happier with their meals as well[which is a rare occurence] not to mention the excellent service which was fast and with minimal confusion with such a large group dropping in on them all at once. Prices are more than reasonable. I was shocked to see some of the reviews here so felt I should leave a comment.
The only thing I would have licked to have seen is the nutrional information of their meals on their website...which is what lead me here in the first place trying to get it.
Me and my friends usually go here every weekend and have a blast. bigger then the duke of dublin so lots of space to dance and drink. deff one of the best places to go in abbotsford if you want to go out at party!
Your business would really benefit from having more bar staff on when it is busy. People shouldn't have to wait over 30 minutes to get a drink. This has happened to me several times at your establishment.
I am a seasons ticket holder to the Abbotsford Heat, and had intended on dropping some good money at the Pheonix, pre-game with my family and friends, as I did last year. To my dismay, this year, after coughing up $10 bucks to park, (even as a would be cutomer of the retaurant), I was told politely, that my party could not be seated because of an underaged memeber of my party. I asked if she was serious, as I couldn't understand that they would shut down such a large source of potential income at their door, at least 40 times a year. Hell, why cater to families at a reataurant across from a civic entertainment centre, right? Especially when they have an 'adult' bar side to the eatery next door. I was dumbfounded and very dissapointed. We had fun nights out last year. But hey, we were told there was a McDonalds walking distance down the road, that way we could save our $10 parking. I was starting to giggle at it all at this point. So, off in the car again to Milestones in Abby, which was courteous, quick, and served up a great spread of meals. Kudos. As I walked in, I noticed another fellow my age dressed in Heat gear, and I told him we just came from the Pheonix, and he expained he had as well, with his group. I looked around, and there appeared to be many more. He was every bit as wide eyed at the turn around at the doors of the empty Pheonix. Did I mention it was empty earlier? Some business savy there. It was explained to me that there was a new licence 'invoked' or something. It is now a bar/bistro/restaurant/lounge, that somehow morphs into something else on the weekend. I didn't understand either. Too bad. What are ya going to do. Food was good last year. Thanks for reading.
I have never experienced worse service in an empty restaurant - although once I got my food I understood why it was empty on a friday. We planned a work retirement lunch for up to 20 people - we ended up with 15. We were seated in a crowded dark corner so jammed togethor we could hardly move. The server didn't take a drink order for 15 minutes - then it took her another 20 to show up with 8 coffees and 7 waters. After another 10 minutes I went to ask if we could order - from that point on I got no refills even when others around me were getting them. The girl was shocked that she would be expected to take a food order. Long story short we arrived at 1130 and did not recieve food until 1250. The food was bland, lacking in substance - I feel so bad for the fellow that the lunch was in honour of because all anyone talked about was how horrible the place was.
thats actually a stretch of the truth. i was also there that day. your drinks did not take fifteen minutes or twenty minutes - whoever ordered drinks first were served first. if you are one of the last to show up, then you are one of the last to get served; thats how it goes. Secondly, it was your food that took over an hour to come out, which has nothing to do with the server - the kitchen staff was disorganized at that time. Also, the server was new so cut her a break. Plus, i'm pretty sure that nobody had to pay for their meals because the bill was taken care of by the owners of the establishment as an apology.
where we were seated was not dark either - all of the lights were on. everybody else was getting refills apparently so when the waitress came by to see who needed refills, you should have let her know you needed something. and since you felt you were so cramped up, why didn't you move to one of the empty chairs or move it around to make more room for yourself?
Thanks NIKADEE - are you the server? We still talk about how awful the service was. I was one of the first to arrive. The server was as bad as the kitchen and the food was terrible. The restaraunt should have paid us for all of our wasted time -even free that was the worst food and service ever. As well the server still recieved tips from most people - and the first two people to leave paid for their food. We arrived at 1130 and no one had a drink before 1145. I do appreciate that you feel the need to minimize what a disaster this was. Anyway I will thank this restaraunt for being a bench mark against which I will measure all other places.
The rebuttle from the staff - wow - is exactly why the experience was that crappy. Nothing like choosing to go to a place and having to defend yourself when your not happy with nearly everything that has to do with your experience. Its like saying, hey- sorry, but my steak is cold and the server saying "no its not". Really? Nicki or whatever - obviously it was shit or 15 people wouldn't have got their bills free. 10 bucks says you are not employed there any longer. Friendlier people at burger king.
service was horrible, our waitress had no clue what was going on. we were walking up to her and ordering. we were told abruptly that they were no longer serving entrees at 830!!! Half our party had not even ordered yet we were given no warning. people were being turned away at the door because the kitchen staff decided to close down. its such a nice building but with the service we received i dont think it will be around for very long. was really rooting for it, but the staff sucks!
Great Place - nice atmosphere... the food that they HAVE is wonderful... we have been there 5 times, and every time they don't have the ribs, snow crab, chicken and a couple other items.. we wonder why they don't take them off the menu?? seems silly - all it would take is a black felt marker... other than that, great!
Finnegans and Phoenix are GREAT establishments. My family, friends, and I eat there frequently and are never disappointed.
The service is great, the prices are reasonable, the food is fantastic and the atmosphere is upscale yet comfortable.
The pay parking that was initialized briefly when the pub and lounge opened may have been a mistake, but it has been canceled except for nights when there are events at the Abbotsford Sports and Entertainment Centre next door, which makes sense - it ensures that patrons can actually park there without fighting for spots with event goers. Furthermore, Paul Esposito and his staff have worked to promote the message that pay parking is no longer in effect.
I highly recommend both Finnegans and Phoenix to anyone 19 and over who has a bit of class and style and wants to out for a nice meal or drinks here in Abbotsford.
This is my second review in fairness. Last night was a success for this place. The staff were friendly and the music was pumping and the dance floor packed. There was even a lineup out the door all night. It truly had the vibe of a #1 club and this is exactly what we needed here in Abbotsford. I really enjoyed the entire night and reccomend that if you see that there is something planned in future. This place is a must attend for this reason kinda place. I have been to UFC nights at like the Sharks club and stuff and this place was by far the leader in technology and sound. Combining Beauty and great service and safe feeling as the clientelle was all good. Even the staff or some staff was from our canadian forces at the Air Show in uniform. Sorry you missed this one people but if you like to party and want to have a unforgettable great time then you must get your ass down there in the hundreds and inundate the DJ with requests that make for party. The rest can and will happen as it did last night.
In verbatim/ If there is something big happening at this place bring a smile on your face and forget the bad reviews and you will not be dissapointed and you will be thrilled beyond belief. This is my promise as I was and now am witness to the potential that existed and has created a story I can share and a night to remember as it will be relived in my memories forever. Muah, :)
I am a Hostess at Finnegan's pub. I have just a few things to say to the naysayers that are putting down my place of employment.
First thing, we have only been open just over a month. Give us a break. There are kinks to work out, and things to get used to.
One of those things that needed to be worked out was our parking system. After countless complaints and being yelled at (yes, I get the brunt of the complaints, as do my fellow hostesses, may I remind our patrons that it is not US that make these rules?), it was decided that we would only have pay parking on nights where there is an even next door at the new arena. Parking will be $10/hr, and it is reimbursed on your tab for the time that you are at our establishment. This is to keep our parking for our patrons, so you don't have to walk from miles away.
Next, we utilize the Treoscope system to ensure a fun and safe environment for our guests. It is not meant to offend people, it is used as communication between other bars and clubs to keep trouble makers out, and we can also make a note if someone has walked out on their bill, to protect other servers. It is a shame that a few bad apples have made it so these kinds of precautions need to be taken, but these are the times we live in.
To bring up another kink that had to be worked out, we no longer scan everyone during the day. The only time every patron will be scanned is after 8pm. Before 8pm we use our discretion.
Also, our Hosts are not "bouncers". Our lobby gets very busy and crowded and it is their job to ensure that no one walks in without being seated or I.D.'d. Also, to minimize confusion. They are there to answer any questions that us hostesses may be too busy to answer.
The police routinely check up on us just as a precaution. There have been times when their presence has been necessary, they have kicked a lot of bad people out of our establisment that went undetected. Those people have since had warnings put on their Treoscope accounts.
Personally, I don't see the big deal with having one's license scanned. Lots of clubs in Vancouver do it, as does Blueridge Bar and Grill. It takes no information that would allow for identity theft. Your address, license number, and anything else is not kept on file. Just your name, age and expiry date of your card.
1)Pay parking only on event days, reimbursed for the time you are at Finnegan's.
2)Mandatory I.D. scanning only after 8pm, before it is Host and Hostess discretion.
3)Treoscope holds none of your information.
Also, please note, our dress code calls for: No Ed Hardy, Christian Audigier, Tap Out, Affliction, or Xtreme Couture. You will be asked to either change, put on a sweater, turn your shirt inside out, or leave. Again, a case of a few bad apples messing up others' fun.
And, please, wear your ball cap with the bill facing front.
I know it's something to get used to, believe me people have let me know as we walk on the way to their table, but it is the way things need to be done these days.
Please, give us a chance, and come to Finnegan's Pub/Phoenix Lounge!!
We at N49.ca really appreciate it when companies take control of their online reputation. It's so great that you did this review... The explanation of the rules that your restaurant/bar have implemented for the enjoyment and safety of your staff and patrons is very important.
I am actually surprised that people don't appreciate the bar watch program! It's only in place to keep everyone safe! If you have nothing to hide then it should be a problem!! I wish they had this in more Toronto establishments!! As for the dress codes, that is pretty standard too...
First off... the pay parking is gone (if everyone would stop to realize why the pay parking was in effect they would understand especially since the money came off your bill)
Second... I like my licence being scanned, it makes me feel safer about who is getting into the pub, only those who have something to hide are complaining about it. They are not selling the info to anyone like one person suggested.
Third... The food is incredible... definitely try the 'kung foo chilli chicken' appitizer it is to die for.. and the 'bannana cheesecake crepe' for dessert is amazing... I am down there at least once a week and have always had a good time! I would recommend this place to anyone, I love it there!!!
LOOKS: Though the space may lack a bit of warmpth and character, it is nice. It feels like a nice hotel: A nice place to get away to, but doesn't really feel like home. I like the high cielings, and the modern look, but it's not terribly cozy.
SERVICE: Service was a little slow and a little untrained. Everyone was very friendly and trying very hard to make us happy. I give them credit for trying, but they missed the mark a little. I think once they have been around for a while, staff will calm down a bit and give better service.
FOOD: Food was good. I love that they don't have just your regular burgers and pasta. Every 'catagory' of food had something for everyone... Traditional and basic, or inventive and unique. The banana crapes were TO DIE FOR... Amazing.
DRINKS: Belini was horrible. That's all I had to drink.
Pay parking: 100% reimbursed on my bill.
All in all, I think they have some things to work on, yes... But I felt the staff were trying to make us happy, and I thought it was worth stopping by. Once everyone finds theyr footing there, I think the place has a lot of potential... I'll check it out again in a month or two!
From arrival to departure, extremely disappointed. From the outside it looks nice. But when you pay for parking?? I never got reimbursed for my parking nor was I explained about it. True enough about the university and stadium. But come on. Also to have your ID scanned and your picture taken. What's up with that? Barwatch... I'm quite aware of Barwatch. Didn't expect to jump through hoops for dinner. Maybe on the pub side it would be understandable. But I attended this place with friends and one of my friends left her wallet in the vehicle so she had to get it just to get it. Would not let her in without it, she advised the hostess she was not gonna drink. We had poor service. And the food was nothing special. Frozen Pre-packaged food taste better. And yes Cold as well. I agree that the 5 star review must have been management. This place is far from 5 star. I would highly NOT recommend this place to anyone!
Not sure how the last reviewer could be serious... 5 stars?!?! must be paid by or is management...lol. Yup, pay parking in abbotsford- sure you get some of your money back if you give the receipt. You have to go thru security check and have your photo taken (last reviewer naively thinks its the bar watch program- my take is info is saleable.) So, with such a new place, we had high expectations- from the outside, it looked promising, should have realized the roadblocks to get in were a sign- stay away. Once inside, it was bland, 'DJ' was pathetic, the food tasted like it was pre-packaged let alone cold and had to be sent back for reheating. Everything was overpriced- you can eat at much better places in Vancouver for cheaper!!! Also, nothing Irish about this place except for the name. Very sad, nothing rising from the ashes here.
My friends and I were frequent visitors of the old Finnegans pub and also friends of the Espisito family. Many of my friends and family members are Firefighters and were present at both Finnegans and Wild Bill fires and helped to put out the fires. We were devestated by the tragedy of the family and the sense of loss to the community.
I was ecstatic that Paul was going to rebuild. At the first opportunity, my friends went to check out the new place. The first hurdle they encountered on a Saturday afternoon (NOT NIGHT) was the parking. There is only one pay meter and a huge line awaited them upon arrival at this pub. They finally got their chance to pay for parking and then they needed to decide how long they were going to be there for, or face having your vehicle towed if you stay for an extra beer.
Then they were told that they could only wear their baseball caps in a certain way while in the establishment. Apparently wearing a ball cap backwards is a sign that 40+ men are gang bangers. Whatever.
Then the Bar watch program. No one at the establishment could explain how the program worked or where the personal information would be stored. The bar watch information is apparently shared over the internet to other bars, but no information on how secure this information is and who has access to it. Are the gang bangers going to be able to look up my address in real time to see that I am at the pub, and then go and break into my housee, knowing they have a few hours to do so because it takes that long just to pay for parking and pay for your bill!?
The service was atrocious. I like others realize it takes a while to work out the kinks and have the staff working like a well oiled machine but this was ridiculous. The food was cold when it got to the table and it ook over an hour after asking the waitress for the bill to finally get the bill. Then there was the issue of taking some money off the bill for parking but not all. They have apparently changed this system now and you will get the full amount refunded, but when the Visa bill comes, I doubt they will pay thee interest, as you can only pay by credit card or coin, no blls and no debt.
Then, despite the bad service 2 days later, my husband takes me there for my first visit. All of the same issues again. Only this time it was a Tuesday at 6pm and we went for a few drinks and appys. We had issues with the parking, then Finnegans was closed for a private party so we were only left with the option of the restaurant. We walk into the restaurant which was nothing fancy at all, and we look around to find a seat we like. There was maybe 15 people in the restaurant and we wanted to sit at a booth. As we walk to the booth, some lady comes over and tells us we need to come back to the fron t door. When we entered the restaurant, there was 10 staff members standing around talking and they watched us walk by and said nothing. We are now told that we can not go in with out having our ID scanned for bar watch. FYI, we are at a restaurant, not a bar!!! Then we walk back in and head to the booth when another lady starts following us. I asked her if we needed to be seated and she said yes. We could not seat ourselves. We told her we wnated a booth and she said booths are for 5 or more and we could not sit there. We were shocked and she told us that -with 15 people in there- they were getting busy and had to save the booths for other people. No one else was walking in behind us. So we had enough and decided to leave. While we are waiting at the desk to get our parking money back, one of the staff that watched us walk in earlier came over and told my Husband he could not wear his ball cap backwards and would have to turn it around or take it of. We told him we were leaving and he still wanted him to change the hat! Whatever.
I am so disappointed at the way they are reacting.. Yes, they have had some problems in the past, but don't treat all of us like we are criminals. I left there that night and went to Sneakers where I had fantastic service, fantastic food, we didn't pay for parking, we picked the seat we wanted and husband gleefully wore his hat backwards the entire night.
We will never frequent Paul Espisitos establishment again and I am of the mind set to not go to any other of his places either. I can buy my booze from the government store and not get the hasssle tht this man is prepaired to dish out to loyal family and friends. Your time has come and gone Espisito.
Pay Parking? Not sure what the last reviewer was on about with this, while we did have to pay to park it was fully validated by our server when we were finished our meal. The Host explained why the parking was needed and it made perfect sense, with a 6,000 seat+ Event centre next door not to mention the University they are just tring to keep the parking for thier guest.
We did have to scan into the bar watch system as well, but I for one an thankful, people always complain about what is happening in the papers it nice to see someone finally try to do something about it.
We were there on Friday night, had a great meal, wonderful service and then at 9:00pm a great DJ started, apperently they have a DJ every Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
In short we would most definately be back, the positives, soundly out weighted the small minor incoviences
I went there with my partner this evening after having heard about the old Finnegans Pub and on driving by it looked very classy from the outside. After going through the shock of paid parking, having our picture scanned and the details of our drivers license taken down, we found the place sterile and lacking in atmosphere.
There was absolutely no Irish food on the menu.
I ordered chillie chicken which arrived stone cold and had to be returned to the kitchen and my partner ordered pizza which tasted like it had just come out of a frozen pizza packet and was barely edible
After finally getting a replacement meal 30 mins later, we noticed that this was also the last of the service we received up until we left.
The food is certainly not worth going there for, the service not much better and the stress of getting through the door makes it not worth the effort.
Food was so-so. Decor so-so. Service poor.
Really didn't enjoy having to stand in line to
pay for parking. Plus have my license scanned and
my picture taken before I was allowed in. I realize
The Espisto group have had problems in the past but
people don't need to be doing this everytime they
go to their establishments. As much as I was looking
forward to something new and good, I won't be going
back there again.