The enduring popularity of Copper Face Jacks

Gillian Coleman writes about the ever-popular nightclub on Harcourt Street.

Since the opening of Copper Face Jacks on the popular Harcourt Street in 1996, the club has been renowned for providing the people of Ireland with a night out in the “Big Smoke” full of cheesy hit songs from the noughties.

The club is one of the most popular places to be on a “Chooseday” night, which is their dedicated student night. This reporter spoke to two students to ask them a few questions about their experiences in the nightclub.

Karen Knight is a second-year Sociology and Irish student in University College Dublin (UCD). She is from Dublin and reminisced about her first night out in Coppers, as it was during Freshers’ Week in September 2016. “The club was so packed that night that the atmosphere was frantic, with everyone having a good time and dancing their hearts out.”

She said that her best friend has a gold card for the club, which allows two people to skip the entire queue and get in for free. Coppers offer numerous drink deals on Choosedays, which she thought was great for students as “students generally don’t have much money and are looking for the cheapest drinks going”.

She also explained how she does not think Coppers will ever have a quiet night on a Tuesday as it is currently “the place to be and I would put it at the top of my list for a club to go to during the week”. She continued to say that from her numerous nights out in Coppers, if you end up there, “you’re always guaranteed a good night”.

Cillian Burns, an Economics student in UCD from Newry, Co. Down, talked about his experience in the sometimes over-populous club. He spoke of how many nights out in Coppers are similar and can sometimes “all morph into one in my memory”. However, one of his most memorable nights out was Halloween of last year “as stupid costumes were added to the usual strange sights witnessed in Coppers”.

He also spoke about how if you go to the venue on the nights of a big GAA, rugby or soccer match, there is generally an extra buzz around the club as some of the players on the teams, for example the Dublin GAA team, tend to head to the Harcourt Street club after their wins.

He then described a typical night in the club. “You wait in the queue for 15 to 20 minutes thinking you’ll not get in because of the size of the queue but you always do and then you proceed to get annoyed at the tenner in even though it’s the same every week. You go in and hear the same song as last week – usually Cheap Thrills by Sia – and see the same people as last week going mad on the dance floor. Then after a while you see the same people who presumably haven’t left the smoking area since last week.”

The club, however, has a rule of no under-19s, which may seem a bit odd for people not from Ireland as the legal age is 18. Karen Knight and Cillian Burns were asked for their views on this rule.

“I think it is unfair that people who are in college are getting denied access to the club simply because they are younger than their friends,” said Ms Knight. Mr Burns agreed with that as he thought that your regular ID and a college ID should be enough to get entry to the club.

This reporter also spoke to Suzanne Whelan, who was lucky enough to meet the man of her dreams in Copper Face Jacks in 2015. She described how one of the best nights of her life began. “My cousin had planned a big night out in advance. We were both a bit down and stressed with life so we were ready to let off some steam. We ended up going to a gig followed by a stop in Flanagan’s Bar and then my cousin suggested Coppers.”

What Ms Whelan did not know was what was going to happen later on that night.

“I had one guy lingering around me on the dance floor who I couldn’t seem to get rid of. We somehow ended up talking and I got a very genuine vibe from him, not like the usual chancers, so I decided to give him a chance and the rest, as they say, is history!”

She was somewhat embarrassed to tell people that she and her partner met in Coppers for a while. However, she soon got over it and ended up writing a song about the occasion. “I don’t really mind it at all now. I think it’s funny, unique in its own way, and very Irish.”

When asked about her views on why Coppers has been so popular over the years, she thought that it is probably due to the people who go to the club. “I think it’s because everyone is so friendly and everyone chats to everyone and it’s quite impossible to have a bad night there.” She commented on how a lot of people from other parts of Ireland usually chose Coppers as their go-to club when they are in Dublin. “The reason why everyone is so friendly and approachable may be because it’s predominantly filled with people from down the country.”

All in all, Coppers will continue to be quite the popular spot whether that be for young students looking for the best drink deals, people looking for love or simply just people looking to have a good night out in Dublin’s city centre.

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