Tuesday 11 December 2018

'Fast becoming a classic' - New York pub owned by two young Irishmen named among 'World's Best Bars'

The Dead Rabbit.
The Dead Rabbit.

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

An 'Irish bar and the best of its genre' owned by two young Irishmen in New York has been named as one of the best bars in the world.

The historical Dead Rabbit pub, owned by Jack McGarry and Sean Muldoon, has been claimed the 16th spot in the prestigious World's Best Bars rankings 2018, which is owned and organised by William Reed Business Media.

McGarry and Muldoon modelled their pub in Lower Manhattan in 2013 and modelled it around a traditional Irish scene, while incorporating a sleek modern look to all of the three floors in the pub.

The Dandelyan in London was named the best bar in the world this year, followed by the American Bar - also in London - with the Manhattan in Singapore claiming the third spot.

The team behind the Worlds 50 Best Bars website explained why the Dead Rabbit deserved the 16th spot.

They said: "From décor to drinks to service, few bars are as meticulously thought through as The Dead Rabbit, the former world’s best bar that is fast becoming a classic.

"You can appreciate it on many levels. It’s an Irish bar and the best of its genre, a cocktail bar with some of the tastiest mixed drinks around, or a brand steeped in narratives – not least its comic book menus, books, merchandise and now self-titled Irish whiskey.

"But as owners Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry would say, all that wouldn’t matter if the bar wasn’t busy.
"Whether it be after a belly-full of the best Guinness and Irish coffee in New York or Jillian Vose’s cocktails in The Parlour upstairs, The Dead Rabbit is nothing if not popular."

The Dead Rabbit suffered a setback last July when a blaze caused extensive damage.

After being closed or almost three weeks, work is now underway on an extension to their famed taproom, which the Worlds 50 Best Bars website indicated could cause a further boom for their business.

"Having experienced a fire in the summer of 2018, The Dead Rabbit swiftly bounced back.

"The coasters at the bar now read ‘Born in a hurricane, forged in a fire’ and will take their place in the Dead Rabbit 2.0 extension next door, which supplies the only thing this bar was missing – capacity for the crowds," they said.

The Dead Rabbit has enjoyed cult status since being named the Best Bar in the World in 2015 and 2016.

They say on their website that they have tried to keep their recipe for success simple.

“The taproom is an informal ground-floor pub is our take on the great Irish tradition: No-nonsense, no airs and graces. Just your honest, everyday extraordinary.

“The Parlour is the cocktail cathedral, a testament to the golden age of all things mixed. Well, that was our starting point anyway. Truly we stand on the cocktail shakers of giants.”

The establishment also has a third, top floor, for private functions where the same food and drinks as below can be bought.

The pair said that their hard work over a long period of time only came to fruition when they finally opened the pub.

“Of course, it didn’t happen overnight,” they wrote on their website.

“In all, it took us six years to breathe life into the phenomenon that is The Dead Rabbit. Six years of planning and dreaming. Of failing, then failing better.

“Finally, we got exactly what we wanted; three floors of welcome, with serious cocktails.”

Mr McGarry said earlier this year that the blaze, which began in the ducts of the building and was spotted within minutes, could have been a lot worse.

He told Forbes: "I'm grateful that it wasn't worse, the damage was isolated to the back of the building. That's where the organs of the building are...

"The first  thing that happened after the fire is that people were messaging us saying, 'If you need us to take your staff...'

"They were trying to be nice but we invest hundreds of thousands into training these guys. We have to look after them.

"The thing I was most worried about, more than anything else, was the staff  A lot of the guys live paycheck to pay check. That was the main thing."

The duo contributed into a $200,000 (€173,000) emergency fund, which was used to pay the wages and bills of staff.

  • For more information about the World's 50 Best Bars please visit here

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