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The Cavern Backs Away From Its Musical Roots, As Renovations Aimed At Turning The Space Into Two-Story Pub Near Completion

If you've ever wondered about the difference between an Irish pub and an English pub, well, The Cavern will soon be able to set you straight, thanks to the face-lift it's currently undergoing -- a renovation that will, in the very near future, find the long-running Lower Greenville establishment start to back away from its musical roots.

For the most part, the venue has survived only off a decent concert schedule over the past 15 years -- one featuring impressive touring and DJ acts over the that time. The Lower Greenville dive offered little in the way of charm. But, come Tuesday, February 1, when the updated two-floor spot will experience a soft opening after a four-week run of construction, Cavern owner Neil Connell and manager Cole Hayden plan to change all of that. And we do mean all.

"The upstairs is an English pub, and the downstairs is going to be an Irish pub," Hayden says.

The nondescript downstairs room, a bare-bones room to begin with, has been fully gutted at this point, and is being renovated with dark wood paneling, 10 beers on tap and a menu full of traditional Irish/English pub grub -- all of which will be prepared at next-door restaurant Daddy Jack's. The downstairs stage has been improved, too -- but it will feature fewer performances. Cavern management plans to scale back its band bookings in the near future to only two or three performances a month.

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Meanwhile, the upstairs room, which is already open to the public, is no longer the shady dive it once was, either. Connell and Hayden have already turned it into a full-blown English pub, with a new coat of paint, wood paneling and all new furniture. The drink menu has followed suit, as well, with an extensive beer, wine and scotch selection now being featured.

The only things that Hayden hopes will stay the same are performances from Ricki Derek and the venue's regular rotation of DJs. Hayden says he's not too worried about that, though -- for now, he and Connell are mostly focused on getting the entire space ready and open in time for February.

Says Connell: "Our big thing is, we want to get everything ready for Super Bowl."

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