NYC 'World's Best Bar' Winner The Dead Rabbit Is Opening More Locations Across the Country

Two new cities are already slated for next year with more to come over the next five years.

The Dead Rabbit
Photo: Simon Dack / Alamy Stock Photo

One of the "World's Best Bars" is setting its sights on world domination or, at least, a bit of American expansion. The Dead Rabbit — the New York City bar that took the top spot on 2016's World's 50 Best Bars list — is reportedly planning to open at least two other outposts with the potential for more on the way.

The Dead Rabbit opened on Water Street in Lower Manhattan in 2013, and though it's expanded its space and its founders have branched out into other endeavors like an Irish whiskey festival, the bar will be adding new locations for the first time (pop-ups and fake international versions aside). New outposts are scheduled to open next year in New Orleans and Austin, according to The New York Times, with the brand already eyeing other cities as part of a larger five-year plan that was delayed by the pandemic.

The New Orleans location is reportedly already locked in: a three-story, 170-person capacity, 19th century townhouse at 616 Conti Street in the French Quarter slated to be ready in early 2023. The Austin location is either not yet chosen or disclosed but is targeting a later 2023 opening.

Additionally, The Dead Rabbit will be opening what is described as a sister bar in Charleston (at 549 King Street) later this year called Hazel and Apple. One co-founder, Sean Muldoon, will be heading off to South Carolina to focus on that project while the other, Jack McGarry, will focus on building the growing Dead Rabbit empire. "The pandemic crystallized where we were both at," McGarry told the Times, referencing the seemingly-amicable, geographical split.

With its historically-themed Irish decor and comic book cocktail menus, The Dead Rabbit has always felt like a space that could exist outside of its immediate time and place; so though expanding a highly-acclaimed brand is always tricky, this bar certainly seems built for the challenge.

However, McGarry did state that the brand will be "pivoting to a contemporary-focused pub with a gentler touch." And in the first major shift, the bar's wild-eyed rabbit-man mascot will be retired.

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