The cocktail scene on Capitol Hill just got more interesting as one of the
most acclaimed cocktail bars in America, Death & Co in New York City, plans
to expand to Seattle as early as next year, according to its founder and CEO David Kaplan.

Kaplan, who moved with his wife and daughter to Bellevue last year, confirmed that after scouting some of the commercial drags on the Eastside and around Seattle, he is mostly focused on opening on Capitol Hill and has instructed his broker to look for an “85-to-120-seat” bar space.

Since debuting in the East Village in 2007, Death & Co has become one of the most critically acclaimed bars in the country, with some of the biggest names in the bartending world — such as Phil Ward and Joaquín Simó — behind the stick. 

The bar is credited with reviving or introducing many modern classics, most
notably the Oaxaca Old-Fashioned. Around 2010, if you requested a mescal drink at any acclaimed craft cocktail bar in America, you likely got served this agave tipple (1.5 ounce El Tesoro reposado tequila, .5 ounce Del Maguey San Luis Del Rio mezcal, 1 teaspoon agave nectar, two dashes angostura bitters and an orange twist.)

In the past five years, Death & Co has expanded to Denver and Los Angeles,
and this summer will open its fourth bar in Washington, D.C. After the D.C.
ribbon-cutting, Kaplan will focus on his Seattle debut.

“My optimistic timeline … find a space here by end of year. And sign a lease in 2024. Open in late ‘24 or early ’25,” he said.


Capitol Hill is intriguing partly because it resembles the East Village,
where Death & Co made its name, he said. Kaplan said the neighborhood is
home to many great cocktail bars and restaurants, with lots of businesses and apartment dwellers. “We like the energy here.”

Death & Co will have plenty of competition if it lands on Capitol Hill, since some of the best cocktail haunts in the Northwest sit within a mile radius of one another, including Canon, The Doctor’s Office, Rumba and Foreign National.

Kaplan plans to host pop ups or other events around Seattle to introduce the Death & Co brand to the local cocktail community later this year.