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Blaze breaks out at New York Dead Rabbit bar run by two Belfast men

A fire has caused severe damage to the Dead Rabbit bar in NYC

AN award-winning bar in New York run by two north Belfast men has been ravaged by a fire.

It is understood the Dead Rabbit has suffered serious damage after a blaze started in a kitchen.

Located in the financial district, the four-storey building was voted World's best Pub in 2015 and is popular among many Irish visiting Manhattan.

Ardoyne men Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry set up the internationally-renowned pub after working together in the Merchant Hotel in Belfast

Famed for its cocktails, it topped the list of 'The World’s 50 Best Bars' back in 2015.

The blaze broke out yesterday morning 7:30 a.m and more than 100 firefighters responded.

"We’re still getting details, but The Dead Rabbit received considerable fire and water damage and as a result will be closed until further notice," the watering hole posted on its Facebook page.

"Thank you for your support and understanding at this very difficult time," the bar added.

In an interview with the Irish News last year, Mr Muldoon spoke about the success of the venture.

"We opened in an area where everyone thought we were suicidal. A cocktail bar in lower Manhattan? There’s enough of those. No, we were a pub with a cocktail bar... and from the time we've opened its been non-stop."

He added: "As long as the person behind it is passionate and knows what they're doing, you can't just copy The Dead Rabbit and expect the same success. It's the people that are the heart and soul of the place."

It is understood the bar will be closed for the immediate future - but will hopefully reopen.

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