So, despite recent analysis to the contrary, London is still in love with New York. In the same week that one of America’s most famous chefs opens a restaurant at The Connaught Hotel, it has been announced that the same hotel group are giving the Dead Rabbit free reign of Claridge’s bar for a week — taking place between the 15 – 22 August. The Dead Rabbit has been named the world’s best by The World’s 50 Best Bars index for the past two years.
Not forgetting of course that a London cocktail bar was also this week deemed the “world’s best” by an alternative index, the news of the Dead Rabbit coming to London is a coup for one of the city’s most iconic and traditional hotels. Claridge’s is an institution in the capital but, in recent years, has purposefully acquainted itself with unorthodoxy. It is sometimes forgotten, for example, that the first Noma pop-up — pre-Tokyo, Sydney and Tulum — took place at Claridge’s in 2012, even if live ants from Jutland were not to everyone’s taste. England’s own locavore forager chef, Simon Rogan, with Fera took over the restaurant location soon after. In short, following the departure of Gordon Ramsay, the food and beverage decision-makers made a concerted effort to move with the times.
And so to the Dead Rabbit — a self-styled “mid-19th century style Irish drinking tavern,” created by Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry. In mid-August, the Claridge’s Bar snug will become a taproom, offering “the finest Guinness outside of Ireland” as well as a “selection of whiskey sourced from the Rabbit’s private collection — the largest in the U.S.” The Dead Rabbit’s beverage director, Jillian Vose, will oversee a full transformation of the cocktail list in the main Claridge’s bar area. Signature Psycho Killer, Drawing Board and Irish Coffee cocktails will feature as well as nightly ragtime piano playing in a room restyled for the week.
The bar food menu will also be temporarily overhauled and will feature Dead Rabbit’s lobster devilled eggs, Cumberland sausage rolls and the Irish lamb shepherd’s pie.
Of an Irish duo bringing an Irish bar from New York to London, McGarry said: “We are both looking forward to taking up residence in London and bringing some of the Dead Rabbit craic to such a prestigious address as Claridge’s.”