Death & Company

Photography by Death & Company

Words by Simon Difford on 11-May-2015

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Address: 433 East Sixth Street, (btwn Avenue A & 1st Ave), New York City, New York, 10009, United States
Tel: +1 212 388 0882
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Sun-Thu 7pm-1am; Fri-Sat 7pm-2am
Door: Make reservation
Style: Speakeasy
Recommended for: Cocktails, Food
Price guide: High-end
Food: Bar snacks
Established: 2009
Owned by: David Kaplan


To the uninitiated this bar's name could suggest a funeral parlour run by the grim reaper himself. Actually, and rather innocently, it is a clever reference to a Prohibition-era group of artists. They produced what at first glance appeared to be temperance propaganda posters but were, in fact, encrypted maps to speakeasies.

Sadly some members of a nearby Orthodox Jewish synagogue got the wrong end of the stick when Death & Company first opened back in 2009. One is quoted as saying, "The fa├žade looks like a boxcar used to transport Jews to concentration camps."

To owner David Kaplan (who is Jewish) and other less sheltered folk the exterior looks rather less sinister. It brilliantly combines original cast iron supporting columns with 100-year-old cedar planks to create an understated and very unique frontage. Inside is a moodily lit lounge with slick design, a fabulous back bar, great food and well-made, classically styled cocktails. What's to object to?

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