Last night, I had the privilege of drinking at one of the best bars in the country, Death and Company. Located on E.6th Street, just off of 1st Ave, the bar is done up in the style of a 1920s speakeasy. Before you even enter, the sight from the street alludes to the atmosphere inside. The name of the bar is advertised in concrete on the stoop and not in a billboard style sign. If you weren't looking for it, you could walk right past Death & Co. and never know what it was. The staff dresses in relaxed, but elegant outfits. The man checking IDs last night was outfitted complete with a pocket watch and Fedora. And that's just from the outside. Inside the walls are dark, the room is dim and lit with candelabras and flickering tea lights. Old style blues and jazz a la Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald play in the background, but it's not loud or overbearing.
Then there are the drinks. Sure there's an amazing menu broken down by spirit. My first drink was the Gin Hound. Gin, honey, and celery juice blended into a light, and lightly sweet drink. But that's not where Death & Co. shines. Alex, my bartender for the evening, was kind enough to make some off-menu drinks for me and my friend. He also brought me a sample of the honey that was in the first drink I ordered when I inquired after it's origins. Alex is pretty incredible, having worked with the likes of Dave Arnold, but the other bartender that night, Bryan is equally talented. Watching the two of them mix up drinks is nothing short of watching craftsmen. You will not find a bad drink at Death & Co.
Simply put, the experience was one of the best I've had. The atmosphere reminded me of a more upscale version of a piano lounge in Maryland that my parents used to frequent. Even without the nostalgia though, the bar is relaxed, classy, and comfortable. If you want a great drink, without pretension, Death & Co. can deliver. But don't take my word for it, see for yourself. Check out www.deathandcompany.com or stop by for a drink.