The Dead Rabbit
|Jack McGarry, Dead Rabbit, NYC
What have you guys been up to the last year?
The past year has been a very busy one for us. We started out this year with two firm goals. For The Dead Rabbit to win World’s 50 Best Bars and to open our second bar, BlackTail. We opened BlackTail in the summer of this year and a month or so later we won World’s 50 Best Bars. BlackTail is performing well but we’re constantly working hard on improving operations and adding detail.
We’re currently deep into planning for our Event’s Space at BlackTail and our outside Terrace. These two projects combined will cost between $600-750k. We’re also working on our second book, which will be centred around Irish Whiskey and Irish Pubs. On top of all that, Dead Rabbit takes up a significant amount of our time due to continually thinking of ways to keep her relevant and fresh. To give you an example, we’ve recently completely overhauled our website so that it’s representative of how our brand is developing (moving from historical accuracy to edgy, punk Irish- bringing the Irish bar into the 21st century) and also mobile optimized. Our old website wasn’t. In saying that, our old website was terrific we still thought it could be better. We work off the adage of ‘if it isn’t broken, fix it anyway.”
You probably have a bunch of awards already; do you really need another one?
Awards are the what’s to our why. Our why is to bring the Irish Bar into the 21st century with Dead Rabbit and with BlackTail it was about proving we can do something different. Awards are great validation for our teams’ efforts.
Is it hard to stay humble and not get carried away when having great success?
We actually struggle to enjoy the awards. We are happy at the time they are announced but afterwards we immediately shift our focus to improving and developing the bars.
Best cocktail related memory of this year?
2 Dashes Absinthe
0.75 oz Cocoanib Campari
0.5 oz Creme de Cacao
0.5 oz Giffard Banane
2 oz Redbreast 12 yr
Glassware: Nick & Nora
Origin: Jillian Vose, Volume 3 Dead Rabbit, 2015, Summer Stirred
What takes a bar from god to great?
It’s all about the details with every guest interface. The bathrooms, the website, the menus, the staff, the decor. Taking every single element of our bars and making sure they’re up to snuff. Making sure they’re clearly aligned with our why. The details in reflection are secondary to the why. You have to have the right rationale for doing what you do. The why is the most important. There are too many operators that open without a clear understanding of what they’re doing. If you’ve no why for your business then your decision making isn’t coherent and structured. Our staff, vendors, etc clearly know what our purpose is.
The Dead Rabbit
30 Water St