When Prohibition took hold, the thirsty took off. And some of them took off from here, Pier A, aboard the new-fangled flying boats leaving cold, dry New York for warm, carefree Havana.
It’s a story of so many facets: the mass displacement of Latin, Irish and American bartending talent to Cuba. The giddy early days of commercial flight. The lure of luxury.
That’s where our story begins.
BlackTail was a pioneering presence in those early years of aviation. Known properly as Aeromarine, it was part business, part daydream – a place of dreamers and daredevils; of hard-headed industrialists with a soft spot for adventure. The nickname – BlackTail – came about through Harry Bruno, the company’s resident promotional genius. It was he who suggested the tailfins of Aeromarine’s meagre fleet be painted black – so they would be instantly recognisable from the ground.
Our story also begins with a flight.
We are Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry, co-founders of The Dead Rabbit on Water Street. Around six years ago we flew from Belfast, Northern Ireland, to New York with a plan: to create the world’s best cocktail bar. A couple of years later, at the Tales of the Cocktail, we were told that we’d succeeded. Strangely enough, that didn’t end the matter for us. It just spurred on us further. Since then, we’ve picked up several more awards, including Jack’s nod for International Bartender of the Year. We’ve also learned a lot but more importantly, our ambition to advance the art and practise of hospitality is stronger than ever. BlackTail is the culmination of that journey.