A reader who went to Death & Co. on Saturday for a simple Bitter French wrote to tell us that she was treated to a real-live episode of Law & Order when she rolled up to the bar and found a police van parked outside. Something to do with the State Liquor Authority’s efforts to kibosh the place?
I went to Death & Co. on Saturday night and caught the latest with their liquor license troubles. When I arrived around 11pm there was a police van parked out front and two policemen standing in the entryway of the apartment building next door. While I was waiting outside, the doorman was called away by the police [and] asked progressively for the manager, the liquor license, and his own ID. The policemen even made some snide remark like, "Oh, so you were expecting this???" because the doorman had all the right paperwork on hand. The doorman retorted, "Well, yes, I mean, there’s been a lot of press coverage…" At this point I went inside for a Bitter French (delicious, by the way — not too sweet), but I really don’t understand why everyone is picking on Death & Co. As opposed to the many noisy bars serving blah drinks all over town, Death & Co. is quiet and delicious. I would be happy to be their neighbor.
Owner Dave Kaplan confirms that cops visited Death to drop off a summons after an upstairs neighbor complained about the noise from the door opening and closing. (Kaplan says it has been inspected more than fifteen times and has multiple certificates indicating an okay from the Department of Buildings.) Long and short of it: Nothing to see here. Meanwhile Kaplan also says that the SLA’s licensing director has told him the place can stay open for another four months while it sorts out its issues with the authority. Maybe the state will even let us sample the spring cocktail menu.