Alive and kicking

27 October, 2016

That’s the why. The goal that kept us focused was winning 50 Best. When we had our down days – not being able to pay rent, being homesick and not having family around, having to buy second-hand clothes, having to walk or run because you couldn’t afford public transportation, working in bars that didn’t suit our philosophy and not being sure if we would have a location – the thing that we went back to was each other and that we were here to do something important and open the world’s best bar. I’m so emotional that we’ve achieved it. I’m delighted for our team as well.

HS: Now you have achieved your aim, will maintaining greatness be a harder motivation?

JM: Yes, absolutely. We are making sure we keep our discipline on delivering our world-class product while constantly identifying opportunities to stimulate growth and improvement. We will not rest on our laurels. Every arrival point represents our next destination point. We will be working even harder to do this award proud and give our guests the best possible bar experience.

HS: What would you like to achieve next in the industry?

JM: The future is to keep the Dead Rabbit fresh and edgy. We’ve hired a talented digital marketing manager from Belfast to revamp our website and manage all social media platforms. Rebekkah Dooley has also come on board as events, marketing & PR manager and we’re expecting a lot of creativity from her to stimulate growth in particular areas. On top of that, we’re working on our new menu as we speak with our wonderfully talented design partners, Drinksology. To complement that Jillian Vose and team will be revamping our programme for the next menu. We’re improving a lot of decor pieces such as murals, and the toilets etc. We’re fully focused on being the best that we can be.

As operators, we could easily rest up now and milk the cow, but we put our money (and it’s our actual money) where our mouths are. We spend a fortune on entertainment, branding and development that other bars simply don’t do. It’s so important for us and this will only intensify after this award. The Dead Rabbit is a $7m business but the overheads are huge. However, we don’t operate run-of-the-mill businesses.

On top of that, we’ve recently opened Black Tail and will be continuing to work on improving that ship. It’s started really well but we’ve a lot of growing and improving to do. We’ll be opening our events space at Black Tail early next year and a month or two after that we will be opening the courtyard outside of Black Tail. This will represent a $600k-$750k investment. We want to get Black Tail to where Dead Rabbit is experientially and operationally. That’s the goal there.

Outside of the two venues, we’re also proactively looking for another site to open our next bar. We will have more news on that as we have it. We’re also working on an Irish whiskey/Irish pub book and will be working on this next year at some point.

We’re not resting on our laurels. We’ve got great teams, great training infrastructures and great partners to continue building our company. The future is very exciting.

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