Everything you need to know about the Pav (including the open date)

We sat down with owner Benny McCabe to give you the inside scoop.

After a highly anticipated wait, Pavilion bar (aka the Pav) is finally back to its former glory, and it’s nothing short of a masterpiece.

The news first dropped over a year ago that the Pav would be making a comeback, and now the wait is finally over. Cork’s newest hot-spot is going to be a true work of art, but first, lets dive into a brief history of the iconic venue:

The Pav’s History:

The Pav first opened its doors as a 900-cinema way back in 1921, just three months after the infamous Burning of Cork. Standing as a true beacon of hope for the people of Cork, the venue became an instant hot-spot for movie dates, and it also featured a stunning café overlooking Patrick Street,

The Pavilion café, 1958 (image credit Irish Examiner archives)

The Pavilion was badly damaged in a fire in the February of 1930 but quickly reopened the following year, showcasing the finest in modern cinema technology. The venue ceased operating as a cinema in 1989 and was converted into a bar and nightclub until July 2014.

During that time, the Pav became home to some of Cork’s finest acts, including a surprise performance by Kanye West in 2009. After a four-year absence, the venue was then reborn in 2018 as Dali, but closed soon after due to the Pandemic in 2020.

Kanye West at The Pav, 2009

What to expect now:

After a long period of careful restoration, the Pavilion is finally ready to open its doors once again in spectacular fashion, returning to its roots as a cinema with a twist. The venue will be home to two very different worlds both downstairs & upstairs.

Downstairs will be home to Intermission cocktail lounge, which takes inspiration from those cosy New York lounge bars of the 1970’s. Intermission will be like nothing Cork has ever seen before and is home to some of the finest one-of-a-kind artistry and craftsmanship. Every item you see, from the joinery to the brass and the furniture to the artwork, was conceptualised and constructed within a five-mile radius of the bar.

Almost every inch of Intermissions walls are filled with vibrant murals created by local artist Anthony Ruby, taking him well over a year to complete, and the bar itself is an absolute masterpiece, featuring some of the finest woodwork hand crafted by the legendary Jim Kelleher.

Intermission cocktail lounge is a place where you can catch up with friends after work, read a newspaper, or discover the life stories of a stranger and it will be open daily from 2pm – late.

The Pav craving cork
Artist Anthony Ruby alongside his mural at Intermission

Upstairs is an entirely different world, transporting you right back to where it all began in the roaring 20’s. The high ceiling had unfortunately been painted black previously, and a team of expert heritage craftsmen had to be flown in from Bulgaria to slowly and carefully bring it back to its former glory, led by renowned Irish craftsman Johhny O’Leary.

This section of the Pavilion is truly diverse, and will be used as a late bar on the weekends whilst also becoming Cork’s new home for events, special movie screenings, and much more. The state-of-the-art sound system upstairs was delivered by Void Acoustics and comprises of three transducers, each loaded by an isometric conical horn for an unparalleled listening experience.

The Pav craving cork
Intermission (left) and a section of the resorted roof upstairs (right)


And now on to the good stuff. Both Intermission and upstairs will feature a full drinks menu complete with wine, beer and themed cocktails. Wines will be served by the glass and bottle, and expect a full selection of Rising Sons craft beer on tap.

The cocktail menu is where things get really exciting. Served in ornate crystal glasses, the themed cocktail menu features items like:

  • ‘Two For the Gods’ – whiskey, salted caramel syrup, angostura bitters, orange twist
  • ‘Rebel with Motives’ – vodka, kahlua, maraschino, rose cordial, espresso
  • ‘The Old Boy’ – strawberry infused gin, basil cordial, green chartreuse

The Pav craving cork
Bar taps + cocktail glasses at Pavilion

Speaking to Craving Cork about the grand opening, owner Benny McCabe mentions:

“We never expected to be tasked with the custodianship of a building that is such a huge part of our shared history. A happy burden and responsibility comes with it, we hope the people of Cork and visitors from far afield enjoy it and we look forward to welcoming you all and we hope you enjoy the building.”

The open date:

So, without further ado, and after a highly anticipated wait, the Pavilion will finally be opening its doors this Wednesday October 5th at 6pm. Intermission cocktail lounge will be the first to open, followed by upstairs the following week. For more information head over to their new website here, and be sure to follow their journey on Instagram and Facebook.

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