Cooking Fire Ignited Flames That Shuttered The Dead Rabbit

The Patch - July 04, 2018

Fire marshals deemed the blaze accidental, after it sparked in the kitchen and rapidly spread through the pub's duct work. By Caroline Spivack, Patch Staff |

FINANCIAL DISTRICT, NY — A cooking fire sparked the Sunday morning inferno that tore through the popular Financial District bar The Dead Rabbit Grocery and Grog, forcing the eatery to shutter, FDNY officials said Tuesday.

The flames ignited in the kitchen of the Water Street cocktail bar at 7:30 a.m. and swept through the pub's duct work. Firefighters arrived at the bar just four minutes later, but could not get the blaze under control until 10 a.m. The bar lacked working smoke detectors, but their absence likely did not play a role in the spread of the flames. Fire marshals deemed the blaze accidental, an FDNY spokesman said.

On Sunday, the owners of the award-winning watering hole announced on social media that they are closed 'until further notice.' They thanked patrons for their support and promised updates on their recovery on Monday.

"First of all, heartfelt thanks to everyone who has sent messages of support and encouragement over the past day or so. They've come from all over the world," a post on the bar's Facebook page reads.

"It's obviously a very anxious time for us all, but we'll get through it. After all, The Rabbit was born in a hurricane," the post said, referring to the bar opening a couple of months after Hurricane Sandy devastated the Financial District in 2012. "So we'll keep posting here as regularly as we can, staying positive and keeping the faith. In the meantime, raise a glass to us if you get a chance and wish us well. We'll take it from there."