Dead Rabbit Bar, two innocent guys with just a headful of dreams and stardust in their eyes. That’s who we elbowed past as we hauled out of JFK, looked around and said, “Okay, New York. you’ll do.”
You see, we’d already come a long way.
One of us was Jack McGarry cocktail virtuoso, walking drinks encyclopedia and soon to be international bartender of the year. The other was Sean Muldoon Ice-obsessive, detail-obsessive, and already the creative force behind a world’s best cocktail bar back in belfast.
Two top dogs in search of a Rabbit. Then we found one.
Of course, it didn’t happen overnight. 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. An irish bar that redefined hospitality. The complete experience.
Meet The Rabbit Team
Sean’s earliest passion was music. To support that passion, he began tending bar. In time, one fascination overtook another. He discovered cocktails and mixed drinks. And he saw opportunity everywhere. After working his way through many of belfast’s well-known bars, where his management skills were much in demand, sean did something extraordinary. He left. He left to start his own venture – the perfect drinks company, a one-stop consultancy and event bartending service. It not only won numerous prestigious awards (for itself and for other bars); it also helped shape a cocktail culture that is still evident today.
Sean was making his own liqueurs and bitters when he was asked to take over the bar at the city’s most prestigious venue, the merchant hotel. It was here that he designed and perfected an entirely new approach to making ice. It was also here that he was reunited with jack.Soon, and perhaps inevitably, the merchant would soon scoop a world’s best cocktail bar title. From there to new york, it was just a bunny hop.
How do you get to be international bartender of the year? You make two things: good decisions – and your own luck.
Jack’s background in the hospitality trade covers every aspect of running a bar. He started young, bussing tables back in belfast, graduating to tending bar and discovering the city’s nascent cocktail scene. Along the way, he accumulated an encyclopedic knowledge of mixed drinks.
He and sean worked together briefly at a fashionable belfast bar called the northern whig. They were later reunited at the city’s stylish merchant hotel, where their combined forces soon garnered a world’s best cocktail bar title in 2010.
After that, new york came calling.
Jillian’s introduction to the world of hospitality and spirits began in the fine dining establishments of elements & jade bar in paradise valley, ariz., before going on to study hospitality administration at northern arizona university.
Before taking over as bar manager and beverage director at the dead rabbit, she ran the bar program at death & co., where her responsibilities included developing menus.
It’s a skill she has put to great use here, shaping both our award-winning third and fourth menus.
So, how’s it been, the journey from cape cod, massachusetts to manhattan?
Pull up a stool and ask her. She’ll be happy to tell ya.