Food & Drink

The Death Seat Burger Brings New Life To A Garden State Watering Hole

The Death Seat Burger Brings New Life To A Nutley Watering Hole Credits: John Lee /
The Death Seat Burger Brings New Life To A Nutley Watering Hole Credits: John Lee /
The Death Seat Burger Brings New Life To A Nutley Watering Hole Credits: John Lee /
The Death Seat Burger Brings New Life To A Nutley Watering Hole Credits: John Lee /

NUTLEY, NJ - Opportunity Knocks on Death’s Door and the Old Canal Inn Serves It With Homemade Sides. Nutley’s Old Canal Inn reopened under new ownership a few years ago after being closed for several years and many of the old traditions are coming back in new and interesting ways. Case in point: The Death Seat Burger Platter.

I first heard of the “Death Seat” at the Old Canal Inn when I found a copy of Weird New Jersey at the Barnes and Noble in Mission Valley in San Diego. Who would have thought that several years later I would not only have the opportunity to see the actual death seat, but eat the burger after which it is named!

Of course before eating the Death Seat Burger Platter it’s always good to know a little about the background on the Garden State’s most infamous piece of furniture.

Sign Up for E-News

The Old Canal Inn opened in the 1930’s on East Passaic Avenue along the Nutley –Bloomfield border. The township boarder actually runs through a portion of the building – the shuffleboard is actually in Bloomfield. A working class fixture for decades, the establishment was owned by the same family until it closed in the early 2000’s. The Conca Brothers of Nutley knew a bit of the history, found the building to be structurally sound, and saw an opportunity create the next chapters of this landmark by building on the past. The original maple floors and chestnut bar have been restored to their mid-20th Century appearance, the old beer taps are back with some new additions, and the Death Seat is featured near the front of the bar.

According to legend, somewhere in the latter part of the last century, a patron of the bar died in one of the bar stools. A burger was not involved. Not that long thereafter another patron met the same fate, in the very same bar stool. And a legend was created.

Flash forward to the 21st Century and the Death Seat takes a prominent place on the menu on Mondays.

The Death Seat Burger Platter is BIG, so big that you definitely have to eat it sitting down, and that death part, while eating it I thought I died and went to heaven! So what is a Death Seat Burger?  Start with a grilled burger, (The full kitchen at the Old Canal Inn includes a grill), then layer it Nacho Cheese, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Jalapeno, and Tomatoes; but wait, you don’t think it stops with a bun, do you? The entire burger, bun and all, is beer battered and deep fried.  It’s then served on a large platter that includes homemade slaw, homemade pasta salad, fries, lettuce and pickles. That’s right, homemade, as in right in the kitchen, with fresh ingredients with just enough mayonnaise to pull it together. Most slaw and pasta salad out there, in my opinion, is just mayonnaise with some added texture. That’s so not the case here. It was all about the vegetables! All of this fun can be yours for less than $15.

The cool part – patrons who eat the Death Seat Burger Platter get a black t-shirt announcing their accomplishment to the world. Sadly, it is served only on Mondays at the Old Canal Inn. The Old Canal Inn is located at 2 East Passaic Avenue in Nutley. It’s just down the street from St Valentine’s Roman Catholic Church.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Millburn/Short Hills

Millburn Recreation Accepting Memberships for Pool, Tennis and Golf

February 19, 2018

MILLBURN, NJ - The Millburn Township Recreation Department announced that it is accepting memberships for the township pool, tennis and golf facilities. The memberships are available to all Millburn Township residents and the applications are available online.

The membership application can be accessed at or go ...

Millburn Police Investigating Theft at Louis Vuitton Store

March 13, 2018

On March 6, 2018 Millburn Police Officer McMillan stopped a 2003 Acura 3.2 on Parsonage Hill/Passaic for having no front plate and tinted windows. The investigation led to the arrest of 33 year old Horace Hall Jr of Newark for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (marijuana) and possession of drug paraphernalia. Mr. Hall Jr was released on a summons.

On March 6, 2018 Millburn Police ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 13

On this episode of AtlantiCast, new clinical studies in the fields of cardiology and immunotherapy, national and statewide recognitions for Atlantic Health System medical centers and the inaugural AtlantiCast Collab Challenge!


Upcoming Events


Wed, March 21, 8:30 AM

St. Vincent Martyr School, Madison

Open House for Preschool, Kindergarten & First ...



Wed, March 21, 6:00 PM

Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center, Conference Room A/B, First Floor, Livingston

Colon Cancer Screening Education Program at Saint ...

Health & Wellness


Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

My Clutter is Taking Over! with Jamie Novak at ...

Home & Garden


Mon, March 26, 9:00 AM

My Tech Learning STEM EdVenture Lab, Livingston

Calling All Artists & Inventors to My Tech's ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

All-Star Basketball Event Coming to Millburn

March 17, 2018

Millburn All Stars vs. Pros – Saturday March 24, 6:00 pm

Community Event at Millburn High School

On Saturday, March 24th, the Millburn High School Senior Celebration 2018 Committee is partnering with Dreams for Kids, Inc., to present Millburn All-Stars vs. Pros.

At the All-Star Basketball event, a team of NFL players will take on teams from the Millburn/Short Hills ...

Millburn Summer Pool Employment

The Millburn Recreation Dept. is accepting applications for  Lifeguards andthe Assistant Manager and head Swim Coach positions at the Township Pool.  Interested persons may apply at the Recreation Dept. in Town Hall or visit to download an employment application.

Email inquiries to or call 973-564-7064 for further ...

Lightbridge Academy in Millburn Hiring Assistant and Lead Teachers

If you are passionate about educating and nurturing young minds, you may fit right in with our family! Lightbridge Academy is currently hiring Assistant and Lead Teachers to join our team and grow with us!

If you would like to learn more about the positions offered, you can reach us at 973-218-1800.