Dead Rabbit is one of the best bars in the world, the awards have stacked up to prove it. If you're in lower Manhattan, enter this two-story saloon that perfectly combines a taproom, with an upstairs parlor serving small plates and fierce cocktails.
OUR ARTICLEBY: Travis Platt Contributing writer
“Respect, then revolution” — Follow Manhattan south, farther than the Brooklyn Bridge, past the reflection of Freedom Tower and the awe of Trinity Church, deeper into the rising steam of FiDi. Down an alley, a pair or radiant red eyes watch your every move. Or was that just the imagination? …carry on. Trek down from the infamous charging bull of Wall Street and farther into the discreteness of the city. It’s here where the concrete of Manhattan — the most recognizable skyline in the entire world — disappears into thin air and drops into the upper bay.
At this edge, sounds echo out of the kingdom into the sky, and the reflection of New York City appears in the water like an electric light show. To many inhabitants, nothing matters past this edge. What a fitting place —here at the end or the beginning, depending on how you see it — to find what many agree is New York City’s finest establishment: The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog.
you’ll discover mixtures so dynamic they would have had the members of Morrissey’s gang spilling their own blood just to get a sip.
We could ramble on from here about how The Dead Rabbit has been awarded the best bar in the world. But as we stated, this is NYC, and what occurs beyond the boundaries of Manhattan at this moment is out of context, so the world can wait. Let’s stay right here, right on Water St., where century-old ivy dangles from a window, Old Glory dances in the gusts of wind, and those red eyes survey.
Here, you will meet the conductor of those with loosened ties from Wall Street, salivating for suds. This man has tight leather gloves, a bountiful beard, and is sharply outfitted with a pocket watch — he is the gatekeeper. Once you check in with him, the Rabbit is yours. Enter to a collection of souls hooting and hollering about the day’s endeavors. Waft across the sawdust-covered floor to revel in the humble spirit of the downstairs Taproom. This is the setting to knock back a few cold ones under a hoard of monochrome photos of the past.
The rush of The Taproom is the vigor needed to motivate the passage — like the steam from the streets — upwards, to the perfectly pretentious haven for all things mixed, The Parlor. The ambiance here is gorgeously haunting with cold bricks, polished woods, and forest-green walls accented with deep velvety reds — respect indeed.
The mixed drink menu isn’t a menu at all — it’s a graphic novel containing a timeless story of revenge, power, and vice. The cocktails reflect the action and violence of leader John Morrissey, reincarnated, with the face of rabbit with piercing red eyes. Once the cover is opened, mayhem ensues off the pages and into your glass. With a mighty assortment of spirits, bitters, and inventive ingredients, you’ll discover mixtures so dynamic they would have had the members of Morrissey’s gang spilling their own blood just to get a sip. The men and women donning the red collars are masters of cocktail craft, and The Parlor is the definition of modern hospitality — revolution indeed.
There’s more…and it’s overhead. The Occasional is farther up, playing host to all manner of private events in an intimate setting that’s a hybrid of The Taproom and The Parlor. The Occasional must be reserved, so make sure you plan ahead to chase the Rabbit towards the third floor to book your next elite gathering.
As long as there are streets in Manhattan, steam will rise and ascent in FiDi. And as long as there are bottled spirits, the glowing ruby eyes of the reincarnated John Morrissey will continue to be seen in a flash down misted alleyways. New York City has been coined “the city of the world,” so come to the edge of the earth to find that even though the name suggests otherwise, The Rabbit is very much alive. He and his dynamic cocktail mob are running the streets in a revolution that’s earned the respect of any soul that has ever sat at a bar.
Yes, we come for the cocktails but the grub is unreal! Lamb Stew and Scotch Egg plates. Yes please
Our CYTIES cocktail recommendation: The Ace of Spades, Snap Decision & Business Before Pleasure
Their mixed drinks graphic novel has many volumes. Grab one for the coffee table, or the in-house bar
Voted World’s Best Bar…’15 ’16 – Do you need more?
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