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Pog Mahones Irish Pub celebrates 15th birthday with legendary parties, prizes and trip of a lifetime

November 9, 2013 Lifestyle No Comments Email Email

One of New Zealand’s most successful and enduring hospitality businesses is celebrating its 15th birthday with a party, a pint or three of ‘the black stuff’ and the chance to win return trips to Ireland or Queenstown from anywhere in the world.

Queenstown’s Pog Mahones, a much-loved Irish pub that’s firmly established as one of the town’s iconic outlets in the heart of the resort, officially turns 15 on December 7 this year.

Pog Mahones Irish Pub will celebrate its 15th birthday with a pint or three of Guinness

Pog Mahones Irish Pub will celebrate its 15th birthday with a pint or three of Guinness

And in true Pog’s style it’s pushing the boat out with a month of giveaways starting tomorrow (November 7).

The 15 Days of Fun offers a free adrenaline activity each day to a lucky customer in the countdown to the big day, and the final ‘Pog’s Big Birthday Pressie’ trip is on offer to anyone who buys an Irish beverage in the 30-day lead-up period.

The opening of Pog Mahones Irish Pub in 1998 by a group of friends, including Roy Thompson and Brian Collins, led to the establishment of what is now Frenzi Group.

The nationwide hospitality business now owns and manages nine premium pubs and restaurants in three cities across the country.

Irishman Brian said he first came to Queenstown as a backpacker and when he later met Roy (a Kiwi) through the corporate world in Singapore they “dreamed up” the idea of opening up an Irish pub in the resort.

Customers can enjoy a delicious meal with their Guinness at Pog Mahones Irish Pub

Customers can enjoy a delicious meal with their Guinness at Pog Mahones Irish Pub

“Neither of us had ever run a bar or restaurant but we loved hospitality and wanted to open a business in Queenstown,” said Mr Collins.

“So we had the concept done by Irish designers to make it as authentic and timeless as possible, shipped in all the joinery, fixtures and fittings from Ireland and flew in three Irish carpenters to put it all together, and away we went.”

“It’s been a great 15 years with some great stories and great craic. A lot of people back home know of Pogs and I remember my Dad being stopped by a customs officer at Dublin Airport because he was wearing a Pog Mahones jersey – they held up the queue for ten minutes swapping stories about Pogs.”

“We’re pretty pleased to not only have made it to our 15th year but to do so with the same owners and to still be growing in terms of sales to satisfied customers and is fantastic.”

Mr Collins said the 15th birthday celebrations were Pog’s way of showing support to locals, food suppliers and Lion Nathan, their major beverage supplier.

The month-long celebrations will also raise funds for Queenstown Plunket to “give something back to the community”.

Staff at Pog Mahones Irish Pub preparing for the 15th birthday celebrations (L-R) Darren Fogarty, Loren Sweeney, General Manager Tom Cairns and Emily Munn

Staff at Pog Mahones Irish Pub preparing for the 15th birthday celebrations (L-R) Darren Fogarty, Loren Sweeney, General Manager Tom Cairns and Emily Munn

“It’s a great way to say thanks to our many loyal customers in Queenstown, New Zealand and around the world while having heaps of fun in the process,” he said.

All customers who buy an Irish beverage in the 30-day lead-up period to December 7 will not only go into the draw to win a free Queenstown activity pass but will also go in the draw to win Pog’s Grand Prize.

The lucky winner can choose from either a return trip from Queenstown to Ireland, or a return a trip for any relative or friend from anywhere in the world to Queenstown – a travel package worth up to $5,000.

The birthday weekend will feature a series of events, live music, special offers and parties – the equivalent of three St Patrick’s days-worth of celebrations back-to-back.

It will also include a ‘special delivery’ of a pint of Guinness to the pub by General Manager Tom Cairns, and the ceremonial ‘tapping’ of a 100-pint keg of Guinness by a celebrity guest.

“On our birthday weekend we’ll officially be pouring our 1.2 millionth pint of Guinness, and more than likely we’ll be adding to the hundreds of thousands of our famous Irish Stews we’ve sold over the years and the 100,000 or so steak and Guinness pies,” said Mr Cairns.

“On an average St Patrick’s Day the customers are banging the door down at 10am and we serve up to 1,000 people that day, so I’m sure we’re going be pretty busy over the coming weeks.”

Mr Cairns said Pog’s mirrored Queenstown’s reputation as a melting pot of nationalities drawn together by similar loves.

“Every year we get couples coming back here for wedding photos because this is where they first met,” he said.

“That even happened to two of our original staff members who’re now married with Pog’s offspring after they met when she was a manager and he was a kitchen hand.

“Pog’s is all about great times, fun and laughter, and often enduring memories.”

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