UPDATE: As promised, the Dead Rabbit is open again as of today, July 19, after recovering from a kitchen fire on July 1. They’re still without gas so no hot food, but they’ve put together “a killer all-day cold plate menu” and the drinks don’t need to be cooked.
The doors are open. The Dead Rabbit is back in business.
It’s been a long 18 days. It was a sad and frightening time for us all at first. Then we got it together and we dug in. And now we’ve got our bar back. So you do too.
Now, what’ll you have? pic.twitter.com/qFSlH5BFMX
— The Dead Rabbit NYC (@DeadRabbitNYC) July 19, 2018
EARLIER: On the morning of July 1, New York City woke up to the sad news that one of its best cocktail bars — one of the best cocktail bars in the world, in fact — The Dead Rabbit would be closed indefinitely after a fire. As if a bar named for a notorious Irish gang could be intimidated by a little heat.
Just five days later on July 5, The Dead Rabbit announced it would reopen on Thursday, July 19. “As every fighter knows, it’s not getting knocked down that matters. It’s getting back up,” the owners posted on the bar’s Facebook page. “We’ve rallied our equipment suppliers, contractors, pulled in a favor or two and we’ll get it done.”
The fire destroyed the Dead Rabbit’s kitchen and severely damaged other back-of-house areas; water and smoke also got into other areas of the bar, which had just doubled its downstairs taproom by expanding into the space next door. “We won’t have a full kitchen for a while yet, but you’ll never go hungry in The Dead Rabbit — so we’ve put together a killer all-day cold plate menu,” the post continues. “Other than that, it’s mayhem as usual.”
This is Steve, a porter and food runner at The Dead Rabbit. He’s also the hero of the hour – the guy who discovered the fire at 6am on Sunday morning. He had the presence of mind to turn off the gas and heat, call 911 and get out. ‘Everything happened very quickly after that. Suddenly there was a lot of fire fighters on the scene, over a hundred.’ **** Without Steve’s quick thinking, the building would have burned to the ground, taking the jobs of around 50 people with it. **** Our thanks to all the first responders, and especially to Steve, a quiet, modest guy – and all-round hero.
The fire started around 6 a.m. on Sunday morning and was discovered by one of the bar’s porters, Steve, who’s been hailed as a hero for his quick thinking in turning off the gas and heat before calling 911. His actions prevented what could’ve been catastrophic damage not just to The Dead Rabbit, but potentially the entire block.
Interestingly, the bar opened in the midst of another kind of natural disaster: November 2012, right after Hurricane Sandy devastated New York City, especially the Lower Manhattan neighborhood where The Dead Rabbit is located (on, appropriately, Water Street). “Everyone told us to postpone,” the post recounts. “We went ahead. It worked out OK. So we were born in a hurricane, and forged in a fire.
“We’ve been moved by the messages of support and encouragement we’ve had from all over the world. They feed the fighting spirit. Thank you, one and all.”