Death & Co. led to a growing demand for quality cocktail bars across the city, particularly in Downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. On top of that, the success of D&C and its predecessors forced upscale restaurants across town to take their cocktail programs seriously in order to keep up with changing expectations. Because of Death & Co. and its contemporaries, you can now find a great cocktail in just about every neighborhood in Manhattan.
Even a decade later, the bar is still taking the kind of risks that spawned its early success. At its 10 year anniversary party, the bar unveiled an ambitious new menu -- the first major overhaul of its drinks list in many years. The lineup includes 32 choices, organized not by the base spirit but rather by four bold categories: “In the Raw” showcases fermented ingredients in low-alcohol drinks, “Water of Life” drinks feature un-aged spirits, and “Transformation” cocktails focus on aged spirits. On the “Luxury” list, you’ll find drinks with rare or “exceptional” ingredients, as well as an updated take on D&C’s old Zombie Punch (an homage to the bar’s early hand in popularizing punch, and a key influencer in the bar’s Tiki selections that would expand over the years).
“It would have been easy to sit back and continue the status quo,” says current head bartender Tyson Buhler. “The thing I've learned to love about this bar is that my co-workers and owners never saw that as an option. We wanted to try to reinvent ourselves and show our guests and peers the level of dedication and care that this staff carries out each day.”
Buhler’s duties will expand when he heads up the bar at Death & Co’s new outpost, located inside Denver’s Ramble Hotel. (He'll be overseeing the drinks at both locations.) The new endeavor is currently slated to open in February 2018 and will include original cocktails contributed by the new bar team. There will also be a major difference between the two venues: Unlike the New York location, the new spot will have a light and airy decor, high ceilings, and tons of natural light.
Through it all, D&C’s core identity has remained the same. “It's been a bar that continues to attract talented and hungry bartenders that have been very successful both while at D&C and in their future endeavors,” says Vose. “I, for one, am proud to have spent so many years of my career at that wonderful little bar; they were some of the best of my life.”
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