Even in the bright of day, once you’ve entered the East 6th Street restaurant, you’re in the dark world of Tim Burton. The narrow restaurant – perhaps only subway-size in width and two cars in length — features tables for two on the right and tables for larger groups in the rear. The bar which can hold roughly 10 to 12, is dimly lit and decorated with ghouls, goblins, and an eerie thing with teeth hanging from the ceiling. A conglomerate of scissors on the left side of the counter, a 3-D Betelgeuse display behind the bar, and original drawings and paintings of Burton’s movie characters line the walls. Fun for adults and fans of the cult classics Beetlejuice with Michael Keaton, or Edward Scissorhands with Johnny Depp, it’s not too dark for kids.
Their price fix brunch menu ($25 pp) includes an entrée, two sides and a dessert, with drinks extra and feature goofy names like Eggs Skellington or Cheshire Mac and Cheese; dinners could be the Beetle Bread, Nightmare (hot) Wings, Sweeney Meat (steak), or Edward Burger Hands. Their drinks, described as “custom made poisons, potions and elixirs,” are truly unique, like the Edward’s Lemonade, Alice’s Cup of Tea, and the Barnabas Collins which includes rye whiskey, crushed brown sugar, chocolate bitters and peychauds bitters. Betcha never had THAT before!
This new entry into the NYC roster of restaurants with classic themes is perfect for the city, especially in its East Village location. Owners Zach Neil and Brian Link, already knows how to run a lively restaurant with a fun theme since they already run the Will Ferrell-themed Stay Classy (174 Rivington Street); Brooklyn’s Chez Moi (135 Atlantic Avenue) features the kinds of things that Marie Antoinette liked to nosh on and French-themed décor, like the alleged doorknob taken from her bedroom.
Although it opened just last Spring, the bar’s plain exterior gives the impression that it’s been there for years, and it has already become a tourist favorite. It’s not unusual for one of the characters to show up during the dinner hour – why, even the customers get into the act and come dressed up themselves. Owner Neil is quick to point out, however, that his restaurants are not affiliated in any way with Burton, Ferrell, or, for that matter, Antoinette, but are simply inspired by them.
Beetlehouse Bar is definitely a new eatery, “to die for.” (Groan)
308 East 6th Street off Second Avenue
Photos by MJ Hanley-Goff