The Guys Behind the World’s Best Cocktail Bar Just Want to Drink a Pint

The Dead Rabbit is an outlier in New York City’s cocktail scene. It’s way down in the Financial District, where streets intersect at odd angles, just a few blocks from Wall Street and its minions, some of whom you’ll find in the bar after work. That’s a few good miles from New York’s alcohol-pumping cocktail heart in and around the Village neighborhoods, where bars like PDT, Employees Only, Angel’s Share, and the now-closed Milk & Honey elevated the act of getting tipsy (or, given the strength of their drinks, blasted) into an art.

It’s also an outlier in that it doubles as a high-end cocktail lounge and an Irish pub, a puzzling combination if there ever was one, but one that seems to be working. This year, The Dead Rabbit won “World’s Best Cocktail Bar” at Tales of the Cocktail and World’s Best Cocktail Menu, and just last week they took second place at the World’s 50 Best Bars competition.

The Dead Rabbit’s owners and operators, Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, are Irish, so authenticity isn’t an issue. The pair is from Belfast, where they ran the highly acclaimed and former world’s best bar the Merchant. Muldoon was the veteran who recognized in McGarry a rising talent and brought him on board at the Merchant. Expectedly, The Dead Rabbit doesn’t look like some of the dives or overdone stuff you might find elsewhere in the city.