The Pinnacle Guide

THE DEAD RABBIT

New York City, USA

New York’s famed Dead Rabbit is a bar dedicated to the celebration of Irish produce and hospitality, with two distinct floors, a lively atmosphere and great drinks.

Reservations recommended
Walk-ins welcome
Accessible venue

AREAS OF EXCELLENCE

AREAS OF EXCELLENCE

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COMMUNITY ENDEAVOURS

Jingle Jangle, The Dead Rabbit’s love letter to Irish holiday festivities, donates a dollar for every holiday cocktail sold to an Irish charity. The team ended 2023 with a donation of $40,000 to Goliath Trust. Other charity partners include Another Round Another Rally, Restaurant Workers Community Foundation, AWARE Northern Ireland, and Irish Arts Center NYC. Since Q2 2022, The Dead Rabbit has estimated that over $1.75M has gone back to Irish artists, makers, and businesses.

DETAILS OF NOTE

Managing Partner, Jack McGarry is openly sober and an outspoken advocate for mental health and wellness in the drinks industry. Supporting his ethos, the team are currently working with Guinness to be the first American bar to offer Guinness Zero on draft. This has been a project over a year in the making that they are hoping to roll out in 2024 across all their venues.

The Pinnacle Guide
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Located in New York’s Financial District, The Dead Rabbit’s ethos and aim is to be a modern expression of Irish drink, food and hospitality. It finds its home in a five story 19th century townhouse, three stories of which guests can visit, albeit one, the Occasional Room, is just for private hire. 

Guests enter under a doorway that says ‘Welcome Home’ and the Taproom on the ground floor is a real embodiment of that traditional Irish hospitality. A 35-foot bar (10 metre) dominates the space with a backbar holding a collection of 190 Irish whiskeys. Whilst green leather barstools have been put out for modern drinkers’ comfort, this Taproom floor is representative of the standing-rooms prevalent in the 19th Irish and immigrant pubs of New York. If guests look up they’ll see the ceiling covered with hundreds of images from North Belfast magazine Horizon, there to reinforce the Irishness of the space (in case the constant stream of pouring Guinness wasn’t enough) and there is even a grocery retail section at the back of the Taproom, representative of the groceries and groggeries of Ireland and the U.S. during the 18th and 19th centuries. Detail is what The Dead Rabbit does best.

Upstairs is The Parlor, originally a secret bar that is now very well known and loved for its seasonal and innovative cocktails. Here, like downstairs, every element is tied back to Ireland but rather than being reminiscent of the past, The Parlor has artwork celebrating famous contemporary Irish figures in the arts and sports. It’s a warm and inviting room with plush velvet stools and rich woods. Connecting the whole venue is the black American walnut woodwork incorporated throughout. 

Aside from Irish Coffee and Guinness, both of which the bar is renowned for, The Dead Rabbit has a signature drinks list that incorporates no and low-spirit cocktails, light and refreshing highballs, and stirred cocktails served straight up and on the rocks. The Parlor’s menu is a collaborative work between the beverage team and the bar’s creative partner in Ireland, Crown Creative and aims to feature unique Irish producers alongside house ingredients, often also native to Ireland. 

A lot of prep work goes into the cocktails served in The Parlour, with a full-time manager who spends their time experimenting in using flavours and ingredients in new ways, giving The Dead Rabbit more variety and uniqueness. While drinks are served without theatrics and adhere to a minimal style, thoughtful garnishes such as lemon leaves misted with makrut lime aroma, dried rose petals and cornflowers elevate the cocktails, as does the hand-cut ice. 

Many of the items on the menu are grown in the garden of the production manager and he often forages for others in the woods of his native New Jersey, meaning the team have to be incredibly thoughtful about the ingredients which often have a very short processing window. Processing that cannot be done within the bar is done offsite – for example, they are unable to work with open flame or smoke because they are in a historic wooden building – therefore any smoking of ingredients is done at a separate lab. Ingredients with delicate flavours are processed as close as possible to the source.  The team is meticulous in finding ways to preserve the ingredients once they have been processed to ensure that everything remains available for the duration of each menu. 

Staff development is paramount for The Dead Rabbit. In addition to their standard beverage training, they offer the Irish Whiskey Genius training, which is a five day programme on which all team members are welcome to enrol. If the individual passes, they receive an all-expenses paid trip to Ireland and an increase in their hourly rate. This is just one of the many development opportunities offered to staff, which also include paid training sessions for members of the team who want to be bartenders but do not currently have the skill set. 

Because The Dead Rabbit is so well loved, the bar is often incredibly busy on both levels, although guests will find service is always warm and welcoming. Adding the final piece to the Irish-hospitality venue is a bank of playlists made up of contemporary Irish musicians.  The team’s goal is to become an outpost in NYC for Irish artists acting as a way station for artists in town performing, writing, recording or just hanging out and their doors are open for those in that scene to come and perform, use the space for meetings or just for a drink. 

“From bartenders stepping out from behind the bar in the Taproom to deliver drinks to servers and bussers seamlessly picking up empty glasses or wiping down tables in the Parlor, everything felt intentional - like everyone was part of a cohesive team."

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