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New York’s Award-Winning Bar Death & Co. Raising Funds To Continue National Expansion

Death & Co. in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan

A legendary cocktail bar seeking to become an empire is turning to an unprecedented source for the capital to do so.

Death & Co., the East Village, Manhattan, bar that has racked up numerous awards over its 12 years in business, launched a fundraising effort July 27 on crowdsourced equity website SeedInvest to facilitate a massive expansion, Bloomberg reports. It is the first bar or restaurant to use SeedInvest to sell equity shares, rather than using a donation-based platform like Kickstarter.

For a minimum investment of $1K, anyone can purchase equity in Gin & Luck LLC, the parent company of Death & Co. that also includes a consulting business and the publishing outfit that produced the Death & Co. cocktail recipe book. Gin & Luck set a funding goal of $1.5M at a valuation of $13M, and had raised $190K as of 3:15 p.m. ET on Monday, with $5K added in the previous 15 minutes.

The shares being offered on SeedInvest are preferred equity, which are non-tradeable. A note on the fundraising site tells potential investors to "expect to hold your investment until the company lists on a national exchange or is acquired." The original founders of Gin & Luck will maintain the controlling interest.

Death & Co.'s expansion is already underway, with its second location opening in May as part of The Ramble Hotel in Denver. Gin & Luck also operates a private cocktail bar called Suite 6A and a courtyard bar called The Garden at that location.

The third location for the company has already been announced as a stand-alone establishment in Los Angeles slated to open in 2019. With funds from SeedInvest, Death & Co. hopes to open further locations in Chicago, Nashville and Atlanta. Its partnership with The Ramble Hotel will extend to openings in Kansas City, Indianapolis and Boston, Bloomberg reports.

Death & Co. is credited as a pioneer in the speakeasy-inspired movement in cocktail bars to emphasize invention and design in highly involved and pricey drinks, according to Bloomberg. That component of drinking has become a crucial element in the trend of experiential retail to which all landlords have become beholden