Teetotal Irish publican leads world’s best cocktail bar in Manhattan, New York
HAVE you heard the one about the publican who doesn’t drink?
Irishman Jack McGarry is a rarity in the pub trade, but not just because he’s a teetotaller.
As the man behind one of the world’s best bars, the Dead Rabbit in Manhattan, New York, he knows just about everything there is to know about pubs.
And he has the accolades to prove it.
He’s now bringing his brilliant bar ideas to other cities — although he won’t be downing a drink in any of them.
That’s because Jack knows all about the dark side of booze, having spiralled into a depression that culminated in a suicide attempt.
Looking back, he believes he always had a difficult relationship with alcohol, although heavy drinking was accepted as the norm while he was growing up.
Having started working in bars as a teenager, Jack experienced success at an early age working at Belfast’s Merchant Hotel when it was named World’s Best Cocktail Bar.
So, when the invitation came to try and repeat the success in New York, he and business partner Sean Muldoon felt they couldn’t turn it down.
Jack recalled: “We wanted to bring together our two favourite bars, the Irish pub and the cocktail bar in the Merchant Hotel.