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Cavan Irish Pub Opening Soon in Merion Village

Walker Evans Walker Evans
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Merion Village will be gaining another neighborhood nightlife option as Cavan Irish Pub opens their doors at 1409 South High Street next week. The venue features a large rectangular bar, several dartboards, and a large outdoor patio out back that will be expanded this coming Spring.

We sat down recently for an interview with owner/partner Matt Mefferd to talk about the new neighborhood pub venture.

Q) An Irish Pub is a very specific type of bar to open. What was the thought process and history behind the concept?

A) Cavan Irish Pub is a joint endeavor created through the efforts of myself, Carolyn Frey, Jason Medlock, and Heather Lashaway. It was important to me to design an ownership model that is reflective of an inclusive environment. In the gay community, bars are often viewed as only a male or female bar based upon the owner’s gender. Having been a bar owner in Columbus over the last 10 years I have seen this separation and I wanted to create an atmosphere where we could all be together. My previous experience at AWOL, which is located on Parsons Ave in the Olde Towne East community, showed me that being a neighborhood bar could bring a community together. It was because of the camaraderie generated within a neighborhood bar that I felt it was important to be in a strong neighborhood location like Merion Village. The Irish Pub theme is something that I have wanted to do since a recent trip that Jason and I took to Ireland. We enjoyed stopping in small town pubs where you could chat with locals and we wanted to bring a piece of that back to Columbus. Once a location presented itself I asked Jason, Carolyn, and Heather to join me in this new venture. After an emphatic yes from all, we sat down to create a place we could call inclusive, welcoming and warm… and Cavan Irish Pub was born.

Q) Was the proximity to Merion Village a draw for the location? I’ve heard some residents in the area express concern that their community is somewhat under-served when it comes to restaurants and entertainment.

A) There are Irish bars and restaurants scattered around town, but there are few Irish pubs in South Columbus, and none specifically within the gay community. None of us are residents of Merion Village any longer, however, having lived here in the past and as current frequenters of establishments in the Village we know this area has a great sense of neighborhood pride. The venue was chosen because of the fantastic High Street location in a well established market. I think it is important to stress that we are not seeking an exclusively gay, lesbian, or straight clientele. We are in a very diverse neighborhood and hope to see a place where all are comfortable. We look forward to serving this community.

Q) What type of atmosphere can customers expect in the new venue?

A) It’s important to me that when creating ambiance the environment should be somewhere in which I would be comfortable and happy. Having worked with Ward Design Group in the past, I asked Jaime Ward for his help, and after a full interior renovation we have fashioned a comfortable neighborhood pub. Our décor is reminiscent of a traditional Victorian era Irish Pub. The design begins with mahogany and brick walls, a warm fireplace, a black granite bar, and an emphasis on comfort. Our goal is to have a venue that will be relaxed, perfect for discovering new friends or enjoying a great night out with old friends. The expectation is that our clientele will primarily come from the gay community; however, we promote ourselves as ‘hetero-friendly’ and welcome everyone to our establishment.

Q) What sort of menu will be featured at Cavan, in terms of both food and drink?

A) Though we are not a restaurant, we felt it was important to offer our customers some light snacks. We will have a small variety of options such as a cheese bread, kettle chips and dip, and hummus. Our alcoholic offerings include a selection of twelve draught beers ranging from traditional European brews to local craft brews. We will carry a wide variety of wine and Irish whiskeys in addition to our fine liquor selections. We would like to try to provide everyone’s favorite items at reasonable prices.

Q) What sorts of special events or happy hours can customers expect to find?

A) Happy hour specials will run Monday through Friday from 2:00pm until 8:00pm. There will be different liquors featured each day of the week, with special drinks generated each day by our bartenders. Periodically we will hold wine and beer tastings, and our menu offers beer flights with multiple tasting selections for those who can’t choose just one. We are excited to broadcast local and regional sporting events with a large projector to complement our four televisions. We are a participating KENO and Ohio Lottery venue. And, of course, we expect to be THE place to be on St. Patrick’s Day!

Q) And lastly… when is opening day and what will the grand opening celebrations entail?

A) The expectation is to be open within the next week, and are planning our grand opening weekend for December 11 and December 12. It is sure to be a grand party with entertainment and fun!

Hours are Monday through Friday, 2:00pm – 2:30am, and Saturday 12:00pm – 2:30am, and closed on Sunday. More information can be found online at CavanIrishPub.com.

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