One of Dallas' classic Irish pubs has closed: Trinity Hall Pub, which had been at Mockingbird Station for 20 years, closed its doors.
Owner Marius Donnelly said in an email that after 20 years, he decided not to renew his lease, and planned to spend the weekend cleaning out the space.
"Our lease is up at the end of this month, so we've closed to clean up and put the pub away," he wrote in a note posted on the door.
He described it on Facebook as "the classic Irish goodbye," in which you sneak out without telling anyone.
"Before we get into the weekend, we want to let you know that Trinity Hall has pulled the classic Irish Goodbye," his post said. "We've slipped away while you were at the bar getting another round."
Trinity was among the many bars that suffered following COVID-19, and the bar closed in mid-2020 for nearly a year, before Donnelly reopened it in June.
He founded the pub in 2001 after many years in the hospitality industry, including serving as director of food & beverage at the Omni and Hyatt hotel chains.
The Trinity had a quintessential and authentic pub feel, with its dark woods, brass fixtures, worn wooden tables and chairs, vintage photos and paintings, Irish flags and soccer team banners, Gaelic writings, and busts of famous figures.
The place was popular with all walks: Moviegoers at the nearby Angelika. The SMU community. The cast at Pocket Sandwich Theatre productions. Beer fans, since it was ahead of the craft beer craze with a big selection of European beers. Music fans, since it regularly hosted live traditional Irish music. Sports fans, since it aired rugby and soccer games. Trivia fans, since it also hosted Trivia Nights.
The space at Mockingbird Station had plentiful nooks that made for good group gatherings and work get-togethers, as well as a huge outdoor patio space.
The food was also good, with Irish specialities such as colcannon and shepherd's pie, plus well-made versions of bar food like cheese fries.
Donnelly was a savvy operator who kept his finger on the pulse of trends such as vegan dining; he was an early operator who cultivated that market with a dedicated vegan menu.
In his farewell note, he went on to cite the Monty Python song "Always Look on The Bright Side of Life," saying, "Our 20 year lease was up, our hearts are filled with your smiles, songs & laughs and well, our friend Eric said it best when he spoke with Graham Norton.... Think good thoughts when you remember us, invite your friend to grab a pint at a Pub this weekend, and "when you're chewin on life's gristle, don't grumble... give a whistle...."
His post ends with an encouragement to visit one of Dallas' many other Irish pubs including Lochland's Dallas, Skellig Dallas, The Playwright Irish Pub Dallas, and The Celt in McKinney, as well as Goodfriend Beer Garden and Burger House in East Dallas.
"Thank you for being wonderful guests and allowing us the opportunity to serve!" he said. "Cheers."