When Death & Co. opened in the East Village twelve years ago, its owners wanted to focus on upscale drinks and become the “fine dining” of cocktail bars.
Instead, they changed the game of cocktail bars.
Death & Co. is regarded as one of the most influential bars in New York City.
And its bartenders are in the ranks of the world’s best.
Now, the bar is expanding to bring its iconic drinks nationwide.
Death & Co. Denver began shaking drinks in May and plans are underway for a sister bar in Los Angeles.
And it wants to give its patrons an opportunity to own a piece of their favorite bar.
“Having thousands of people that invest just a thousand dollars or a couple thousand dollars, they take ownership. They want the place to do better, so they’re telling their friends and their friends and I think it’ll just spread like wildfire,” co-owner Ravi Derossi says.
It’s not just their investor base that’s unique, but the way the bar is going about raising the money: through crowdfunding.
The owners of Death & Co. teamed up with crowdfunding platform SeedInvest for the bid.
“Crowdfunding wasn’t really on our radar, we weren’t really aware of it as a route and we really fell in love with the people and the idea and ultimately the idea that we could have our investor base made up of the people that have supported us this entire time: our fans, our customers,” co-owner David Kaplan added.
Investors can get skin in the game for as little as $1,000.
They’ll receive distributions along the way and hopefully a profit if the company’s ever sold.
Scott Elliott fell in love with Death & Co. before he ever stepped foot in the bar - after he was gifted a book of their cocktails.
But his love was solidified after the first visit.
"To be able to own a piece of Death & Co. is such an incredible experience," Investor Scott Elliott said.
Elliott splits his time between Astoria and Lawrence, Kansas, where he owns a bar of his own.
He says he learned more from Death and Co than pretty much anywhere else.
And just as the bar owners hoped, for some investors it's not all about profit.
“The return is actually secondary. To be invested in it is really more so to be a part of something bigger and really be in support of a movement and a group that I’ve been affected by personally and professionally,” he added.