BlackTail is the second bar created by Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry after the multi-award-winning Dead Rabbit. It opened in August 2016 at the Pier A Harbor house.
It is named after the boat-planes that transported thirsty New Yorkers from ‘dry’ Manhattan to ‘wet’ Havana during Prohibition. The planes had black tail-fins, and were operated by a long-defunct company named Aeromarine Airways.
The BlackTail bar is inspired by the famous historic venues of Havana, especially El Floridita, where Hemingway famously spent much of his time drinking daiquiris. On the bar top are brass plaques engraved with autographs of Cuba-frequenting celebrities from that era.
At the center of the back bar is a statue of José Martí – the 19th intellectual and ‘Apostle of Cuban Independence’. Behind the statue is a reproduction oil painting of John Vanderlyn’s Landing of Columbus, depicting the first encounter of explorer and his crew with the New World in 1492.
In Cuba, the period between the introduction of Prohibition and the island’s Revolution in 1959 is something of a golden age for cocktail bars.
Several of the greatest bartending talents left the US for Havana, where they established now-legendary bars and created drinks that remain classics today. It was a time of luxury and enjoyment; of relaxed, carefree indulgence. With extraordinary attention to detail, BlackTail seeks to recreate that era in an experience we call the lush life.
• Unsurpassed standards of service for an unforgettable guest experience, every time
• An outstanding drinks menu and an original, authentic food offering
• The best things in life are lush
Jack is the Managing Partner at BlackTail, which he co-founded in 2015 with Sean Muldoon, his partner in The Dead Rabbit. A former (and youngest-ever) winner of the International Bartender of the Year title at Tales of the Cocktail, Jack has an encyclopedic knowledge of cocktails and mixed drinks, and has the prodigious palate to match. It’s really quite something.
Sean co-founded BlackTail in 2015 with Jack McGarry, his partner in the legendary Dead Rabbit. He brings the same focus, determination and relentless attention to detail for which he is renowned to this unique bar that celebrates the golden age of Cuban cocktails. In 2107 BlackTail was named Best New American Bar at Tales of The Cocktail. So the golden age is definitely back.
Will Pasternak is the head bartender at BlackTail NYC where he has worked since 2016. Prior to moving to New York, Will spent time at Clydz and The Dillinger Room, and Jockey Hollow in New Jersey. Will also spent a few months of 2014 in Sydney, Australia at Palmer and Co. Since taking over the program at the beginning of this year, he has been overhauling all aspects of the bar including the drinks, bar ergonomics, as well as implementing functional and efficient systems throughout the venue. One particular area he has focused closely on has been cost savings by identifying areas of waste in the venue. In addition to a 10 year hospitality career, he brings with him an education from Rutgers School of Business, from his home state of New Jersey, where he studied Management and Information systems.
Chris originally planned to be a chef and worked in professional kitchens before being accepted at the Culinary Institute of America. There he discovered life at the front of house, and also discovered he preferred it. Then, it was just a matter of finding the ultimate combination: great food, great drinks, great hospitality. And here we were. Chris spent over 3½ years at The Dead Rabbit, before moving to BlackTail, where he is the always busy yet always calm Assistant Manager.