A Historic Family, A Historic Bar.
The Lavery family bought the bar in 1918 from two brothers called Kinahan. Kinahan's was a spirit grocer's and a stage coach stop for the Belfast to Dublin coach and was renamed after the Lavery family soon after the purchase.
The stores at the rear of Lavery's were originally stables and fresh horses would be changed here, allowing the travelers time to stop for refreshments. At this time the Lavery family owned over 30 bars throughout Northern Ireland, subsequently bought over for their stock due to the shortages created by the First World War. After the war only five bars remained operational and ran by the four Lavery brothers Tom, Patsy, Charlie and Donal. Due to death duties and the Northern Irish Troubles only Laverys remains.
In 1972 Lavery's was badly hit by the Troubles and was burned out in an arson attack, very nearly killing Tom who lived in a flat above the bar. By this time the bar was jointly owned by Tom and Patsy and was soon rebuilt in 1973.
Tom's son Charlie and Patsy's son Patrick took over ownership of the bar in the late '70s. Business was brisk and in the mid '80s Charlie and Patrick converted the upstairs apartment where Tom lived into the first floor Middle Bar and top floor Attic Bar, also adding kitchen facilities.
Business flourished and three years later a second renovation was carried out, this time knocking down the old Back Bar (which was previously called Cobbles for the entry way behind it which was once a cobbled street). This section was rebuilt and extended and the Middle Bar and the Attic Bar extended out above it. An adjacent shop was later purchased and the bar was extended for a third time, increasing the size of the bars and kitchen plus adding several new offices.
Most recently, over the past few years Lavery’s has once again been renovated and redesigned from the bottom floor up, from the recently redesigned Back Bar & Beer Garden, new middle floor nightclub Mister Tom’s Lounge (previously the Bunker) and top floor pool hall and roof terrace, The Ballroom.
In 1996 the Pavilion Bar on the Ormeau Road was purchased.
A major extension and refurbishment of the bar was carried out in late 1997/98.
This involved gutting out the entire premises, rebuilding new stores to the rear of the building and adding a new store to the first floor level in addition to extending the size of the Public Bar, Middle Bar and installing a new bar (The Pool Room) and kitchen on the top floor.
The top floor had previously been derelict. Extensive work was carried out on the ceiling of the Public Bar, reinstating it back to its former glory after it had been severely damaged in a fire some years earlier.