We were thrilled to welcome him to the Living Proof podcast, to find out what’s on the cards for him and business partner Jack McGarry, who joined him on the venture from Northern Ireland to New York, on a mission to create the world’s best cocktail bar.
It’s now three years since The Dead Rabbit won the official title of World’s Best Bar in 2016 – the same year BlackTail opened – and Sean and Jack are far from resting on their laurels. They’re almost ready to open a second Dead Rabbit in New Orleans – part of a greater expansion plan that Sean details during the interview – and there’s now even movement on the cards for BlackTail.
“We’ve been thinking now for a full year that, as much as I love Cuba, personally, and as much as I love Ernest Hemingway and all that, we tend to think that it’s not right for New York,” Sean revealed.
“We’ve been looking at alternative locations, we’ve been looking at particularly Miami for BlackTail. I think the next news that you’re going to hear about BlackTail is that it’s going to be moved to Miami.”
Head to the 24:00 mark of the interview to hear Sean’s thoughts on why Miami will be a better fit for the Cuban-inspired cocktail bar.
In regards to Dead Rabbit’s expansion plans, should New Orleans be a success (and we can’t see it being anything but), Sean and Jack already have some other cities down that will be next to benefit from the Dead Rabbit production line.
Having been consistently underwhelmed by the quality of Irish bars in cities outside of Ireland, they’re evidently passionate about bringing the true idea of one to as many places as possible. And they’re not wasting much time in doing so.
“We would have a plan to open in Nashville, in Washington DC, Boston and we’ll open one in Dublin, and Dublin would be the first one outside of America. And we’re planning to do all that within five years, opening six bars in total,” Sean told us.
“We’d obviously have to get them to a level that we’re happy with – we’re not just opening for the sake of opening, we’re doing it because this is what we want to do. We want to bring a good Irish pub to every city.”
If you’re wondering why Dublin would need to be shown how to do an Irish pub, the idea on that front is more around bringing a Dead Rabbit specifically to the people of Ireland so they no longer have to travel to New York to experience it.
Sean told us: “it would be for the sake of having it there, because there are a lot of Irish people that would like to have a Dead Rabbit experience, but don’t want to fly in an aeroplane.”