To the famous punk rock band The Clash, “death or glory” was “just another story.” But to the four owners of Delray Beach bar Death or Glory, the phrase reflects their commitment to giving the community a place to, as they put it, “Eat. Drink. Chill.”
“Ultimately, ‘death or glory’ really means ‘go big or go home,’” says Annie Blake, one of the owners. “We thought, ‘We’re going to make this work. Shake things up a litte. Show Delray something a little bit new and fresh.’ ”
With this gung-ho spirit, the partners—Blake, Ayme Harrison, Isaac Grillo, April DeVona—combined their experiences in the cocktail industry to transform the nearly century-old Falcon House (116 NE Sixth Ave.) into a neighborhood spot that offers an elevated yet approachable and relaxing cocktail experience.
The key to elevation is the dedication to freshness. Ingredients—orgeat syrups for the mai tais, coconut creams for piña coladas—are made in-house. Garnishes are garden-grown, and the rotating menu of seasonal cocktails and food relies on fare from local producers.
“Nothing’s coming out of a gun,” Blake says.
The results are balanced approaches to classics such as the old fashioned and negroni. A menu mainstay is the Rose Tattoo, with vodka, cucumber, lemon juice and rosewater mist topped with prosecco. Reflecting the relaxed atmosphere is another drink, Party Like It’s 1999, with vodka, pomegranate, grapefruit and more, served in a disco ball that can be shared—there’s enough for four to eight people.
And for those looking to get away, the tiki bar at the back of the house is a perfect escape. There, the drinks maintain the whimsy of tiki culture but depart from the bad reputation Blake says tiki drinks have gained for being “overly sweet.”
“Like a lot of cocktails, to execute them properly, the balance is really important,” Blake says. “You can’t just throw a bunch of sugar and spirits into a vessel and be like, ‘perfect.’ ”
This balance, combined with the owners’ dedication to serving customers that Blake says expect more from their dining experience, regularly draws a mixed crowd, ranging in age from 21 to 90. That’s a testament to the bar’s wide appeal since it opened in April 2017.
As for those still intimidated by the name? “Don’t let the name scare you,” Blake says. “It just means that we have a lot of heart.”
1 1/2 ounces Reyka vodka
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
1/2 ounce cucumber juice
Shake ingredients in tin with ice. Strain into flute. Add cucumber ribbon. Top with prosecco, spray with rose mist. Garnish with dried rose bud.