Cheese lovers know Janice Beaton, and her Calgary cheese shop. Now Beaton is going back to her roots–in more ways than one–with her upcoming project, Mabou Cheese + Bar, a cheese-focused bar on 17th Avenue.
Located in the space previously occupied by Beaton’s FARM restaurant, Mabou is, as Beaton tells Daily Hive, “a bar, with a cheese-centric menu.”
“We are actually going back to our roots, coming full circle to closer to what we intended back in 2008,” adds Beaton.
Although the menu is in the testing phases right now, Beaton promises “cheese and charcuterie, fun warm cheese noshes, salads and veg, and small meaty plates.” And for those already loyal to her grilled cheese and other cheesy delights from the cheese shop, fear not, for those foods will be well represented.
“You will also see some of the Janice Beaton Fine Cheese favourites on the menu – Mac ‘n’ Cheese, a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches, amongst other goodies,” promises Beaton.
Beaton describes Mabou as a “gathering place that is rooted in the community,” with an eye on accessibility and affordability for locals, as well as a “thoughtful, user-friendly” wine and drink list. Mabou’s drinks can also each be teamed up with a “cheese partner,” for the perfect pairing.
“Mabou evolved from an idea I had to bring wine and cheese to the people in an inviting, friendly, environment,” elaborates Beaton. To that end, she says that all the menu items are ideal for sharing, which will give the guests a more at-home feel in the stylish, refreshed space.
Speaking of the space, Beaton gave us these design details:
The space is all about subtle sensuality as it is expressed through a container that highlights form, texture, light and colour splash. Like waves! We also have a ‘wine wall’ which features a number of the wines/libations on our menu in a format that encourages our guests to enjoy whimsical prose, quotes and informal info. The bar is the one element that remains from our previous space and it has taken on a new life with the dramatic change to the concept.
While there is something old, something new, and even a few things “borrowed” from Janice Beaton Fine Cheese, Mabou in itself represents something new and dear to Beaton’s heart and heritage. Named for the rural community in Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton where Beaton spent her childhood, the cheese maven says it’s also where her love of food was sparked.
“One of my strongest childhood memories is holding onto my grandmother’s skirt and watching as she separated milk on our family’s farm in Cape Breton,” attests Beaton. “Those experiences were the beginning of my passion for homegrown food – which I do my best to bring to the culinary scene here in Calgary.”
“I want Mabou to be a place where people feel comfortable, and that they will return to because they feel at home there,” she adds. “There will be touchstones… the name, for starters, along with the Atlantic seascape colour of our banquettes, one or two menu items that will speak to the east coast food of my childhood, and a cocktail or two named in homage to my roots. And more… Stay tuned!”
Mabou is projected to open at the end of September. Keep an eye on their Instagram for updates.
Address: 1006 17th Avenue SW