Nancy O's

By Chris Dias on June 29 2015

Nancy O’s is a culinary bouillabaisse of chaotic ideas. It’s a pub, a bistro, a café, a hipster hangout, and a theater, a place that, if it existed a half-century ago, would’ve seen the likes of Allen Ginsburg or Jack Kerouac.

It has become evidently mandatory in this city for restaurants to feature a stage, even if said restaurant is smaller than a studio apartment in downtown Tokyo.

Nancy O’s perfected that formula, and was for a while the only place successful at it, a restaurant with the gravity of a neutron star to attract every manner of individual, whether it was to dine or to perform. I won’t defend accusations of it being a hipster bar. If you dislike it for that reason, then ignore it; go to a boring sports pub and drink the last lingering shreds of your character away.

Nancy O’s could be called a pub if said pub was located in Belfast, but here, I would call it a restaurant and one I frequent and support…just like everyone else does. It’s common knowledge, like knowing that cats ignore people or that men slow down when walking with their girlfriends. Fifty years from now, the restaurant will be considered a landmark, listed alongside truss bridges and creepy steel mannequins made to resemble wood. This assumes, of course, it doesn’t suffer another fire.

Yes, unfortunately, a year almost to the day after a blaze forced the temporary closure of another local restaurant, Nancy O’s (along with several other businesses) were struck by fire. Like the city’s proud century-old ironworks, Nancy O’s refused to fall. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the city’s collective vigilance to prevent the loss of another landmark as the reason for Nancy O’s survival.

For a while, it held the top spot on Trip Advisor, still holds the pinnacle on Yelp. Its Facebook page has more likes than the city’s own official page. We all know Nancy O’s is the culinary and cultural epicenter of Prince George, and if I ever committed to a pub-crawl, I would start and finish with that semi-hidden restaurant on 3rd avenue.



WGO2015Norm Coyne