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.

The Old Canal Inn
2 East Passaic Ave
Nutley, NJ 07110

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Verona/Cedar Grove

Details Emerge about Nutley Resident's Rally to Add Armed Guards to Public Schools

March 19, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - Details of the 'Rally to Protect Our Children,' a citizen organized effort to add armed guards to all Nutley Public Schools are emerging. The rally will take place at the same time as the '#NeverAgain March for Our Lives' taking place in cities across the country. 

TAPinto Nutley first broke the news of the rally March 13 in a report about ...

Cedar Grove Police Blotter

March 18, 2018

March 12, 2018 – March 18, 2018

On March 14, 2018 at 11:41 a.m., Ptl. Christopher Heck stopped a vehicle after observing that the operator was not wearing a seatbelt. A subsequent investigation led to the arrest of a 23 year old female passenger from Woodland Park for possession of marijuana. She was processed and released with a summons to appear in municipal court.

On March 14, 2018 ...

Rutgers Student on Front Lines of Orangutan Conservation, Research

March 19, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - Deep in a tropical forest in Borneo 15 years ago, Rutgers student Didik Prasetyo first encountered a young male orangutan that he named “Jerry.”

The great ape was one of several orangutans that Prasetyo and other researchers followed at the Tuanan Orangutan Research Station in the Mawas Conservation Area in Indonesia. Prasetyo was skeptical when colleagues said ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, March 21, 6:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

Financial Seminar

Business & Finance

Wed, March 21, 6:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

Understanding Liver Disease

Health & Wellness

Wed, March 21, 7:00 PM

Hospital Conference Room 2 (Ground Floor), Glen Ridge

Becoming a Parent

Health & Wellness

Mountainside Medical Center Offers New 24/7 Senior Mental Health Helpline

March 21, 2018

Montclair, NJ -- Mountainside Medical Center has established a 24/7 Senior Intervention Helpline to address the behavioral health concerns of area residents age 65 and older.  Seniors in distress, along with authorized caregivers for the elderly who aren’t sure where to turn for help, are urged to call (973) 429-6073 whenever assistance from the hospital’s team of specially ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...