You know college is back in full swing when you’re sitting outside the Pavilion Bar (affectionately known by students and staff as the Pav), a can of Pratsky in hand and soaking up the last few rays of September sunshine. But the Pav, which first opened its doors on June 13th, 1885, has always been dearer in students’ hearts than an average student bar, and changes in recent years has seen it continue to flourish as a hub of Trinity campus life. We sat down with Jason Lynch, Interim General Manager of the Pav, to talk about the new-and-improved Pav’s place in student life.
The Pav is, at its heart, a sports bar. The bar is owned by Trinity’s sporting body, Dublin University Central Athletic Club (DUCAC), and its profits go back into Trinity Sport. But it has come to facilitate much more than sports coverage and beer. It is a sanctuary on campus. You can see the library from the steps of the Pav and smile, knowing you’ve chosen to escape for an hour or two. Lynch stated that his main goal currently for the bar is to generate revenue, and he followed by saying that “there’s nobody that’s driving around with a Lamborghini or Ferrari from us. Do we want to generate more money? Of course we do, because we want to generate more money for sports, and we want to generate more money for students”.
This is the reason that Lynch is working closely with the Padraic Rowley, the Entertainments Officer of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union, to come up with new ideas for events in the bar. In the past, the Pav has hosted Father Ted marathon nights as well as an ever-popular Late Late Toy Show night and charity auctions during RAG Week. With remaining as attractive as possible in mind, the Pav has gone through a spate of changes lately, including a facelift. Another most recent change is the introduction of a new menu, which includes a €5 full Irish breakfast with tea/coffee and toast that is served from 7.30am.
To fulfill its goal of facilitating as many student events as possible, the Pav opens its doors to 21sts, birthdays, christenings, corporate events and weddings. In fact, the Pav just held a wedding reception for two former students who met in Trinity
Lynch is keen to emphasise that the Pav is open to all student groups, whether sports clubs or societies. He offers the DU Comedy Society, who have regularly held their gigs in the Pav over the years, as an example of this. With its identity as a sports bar, he explains that the Pav is a favourite starting point when Trinity’s sports teams have nights out. In fact, Lynch points out that the Pav will “tailor any event” it can. The Pav is, above all, accessible – the sunroom can be booked by clubs, teams and societies up to four times a day.
To fulfill its goal of facilitating as many student events as possible, the Pav opens its doors to 21sts, birthdays, christenings, corporate events and weddings. In fact, the Pav just held a wedding reception for two former students who met in Trinity. They had their wedding in the College Chapel and went to the Pav afterwards for a prosecco and finger food reception. “They wanted to relive the old days”, Lynch said with a smile, and what better place to do that than the Pav, where most of the old days – and nights – were probably spent.
When asked what makes the Pav so special, Lynch cited the bar as a “central hub”, and it’s true. Not only is it situated in the heart of Trinity, but the heart of Dublin. For students, the Pav is as much a meeting point as the Spire. Lynch reiterated this, saying: “When people are holding events, everyone comes and meets in the Pav. When you have a mystery tour, the meeting place is the Pav.” It’s hard to believe that their licensing hours were, at one point, restricted to between 3.30pm and 6.45pm.
In Lynch’s own words, at the Pav they will “cater for anybody or anything, no matter who you are”, whether you’re coming in for breakfast, fiver cocktails between lectures, the latest football match, a society night or a class night out. There’s no end to the possibilities a night – or, indeed, a morning or an afternoon – at the Pav.