Upstairs, the Crown, an English pub, and downstairs, its Irish counterpart, the Harp

The Cavern first opened 14 years ago, and in that time, few things changed. But with the new zoning on Lower Greenville and the city’s push to make the street a more walkable part of the neighborhood, the bar’s owners decided it was time for an update.

So, quietly and quickly — it took them 30 days — they remodeled upstairs and downstairs at the old Cavern. They painted, added dark wood paneling, replaced the carpet, updated all four bathrooms, bought all new booths, tables and chairs. And they installed dark wood bars upstairs and down.

The new concept is Crown and Harp English-Irish Pub. Upstairs is an English pub, the Crown, and downstairs is its Irish counterpart, the Harp.

The Harp has an impressive selection of imported draft beer — Guinness, Harp, Smithwick’s and Murphy’s Red Ale. Plus, they have Magic Hat No. 9 on tap. There is also an expanded wine list and liquor selection.

“The neighborhood is changing,” says co-owner Neil Connell. “We decided if everything is changing, we’re going to change our place to be more of a neighborhood hangout.”

Like any good pub, the Harp will feature an Irish bartender. Neighborhood resident and popular drink slinger Noel Graham, a former owner of the Cock & Bull Pub, will do his thing behind the bar during 5-8 p.m. happy hour.

The Crown and Harp is serving a five-item menu of pub fare — fish and chips, you know —from next door at Daddy Jack’s, which has the same owners. And they’ve added valet parking, which is free before 10 p.m. and $5 after.

But Connell and his partners — Cary Raw and Jack Chaplain — are hoping to draw a crowd that arrives by bicycle or on foot.

“We really want it to be a place for people who live in this neighborhood,” Connell says.

Cavern regulars will note the upstairs couches are gone, replaced with big, square pub tables. The Crown and Harp is still a live music venue. Ricki Derek, who has performed Sunday nights at the Cavern for nearly 10 years, is still going at the Crown, although he’s starting a little earlier now, at 9:30 p.m. Monday night is still Cool Out with Tony Schwa. Tuesday is karaoke. Wednesday is trivia game night. Thursday is piano sing-along night.

And they’ll have bands or DJs on Fridays and Saturdays.

The Crown and Harp reopened on Super Bowl Sunday — there are three flat-screen TVs in each pub, plus a projector for big games. And the owners are working to get a Liverpool FC fan group to make the Crown and Harp its base.

A grand opening is Saturday, March 12 — the day of the St. Patrick’s Day parade.


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