EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan — When Beetle House NYC first opened its doors in the East Village, the goal was pretty simple:
“A Halloween party every day. Basically Halloween 365,” owner Zach Neil explained.
From the whimsical cocktails to the spooky Tim Burton-inspired decor, it became a popular destination for Beetlejuice fans, and just about anyone looking for a memorable dining experience.
But all that changed after COVID-19.
The restaurant was forced to close for seven months.
It finally opened back up in a bigger space in October, but was met with yet another set back.
“I thought, you know, we’re going to open up again and we will be OK,” Neil said. “The reality of what actually happened: we open on Oct. 28, and then just a few weeks later we got closed again.”
Instead of agonizing, Neil mobilized, embracing the only option on the table — outdoor dining.
“We came up with ‘fire and ice’ — it’s a real simple concept,” he said. “So it’s literally ice cold drinks, we are cooling vodka to 0° and pouring it into his hot cider drinks, we are serving hot Toddy’s and hot butter rum.”
It all takes place in the restaurant’s cozy weatherproof space along East Sixth Street.
The pivot so far is a hit with customers.
“We pretty much sold out immediately just from all the buzz of what was going on here,” he said.
While the restaurant is hurting financially, it still has its head in the game and is aiming to bring some normalcy back to the neighborhood.
“The interest for New Yorkers to eat and dine is still there, you just have to give people a reason to go to your restaurant,” he said.
Beetle House NYC
308 East 6th Street
New York, NY 10003
OPEN; Sun, Tue, Wed: 4:00pm to 11:30pm; Thur, Fri, Sat: 4:00pm to 2:00am
Find more at beetlehouseNYC.com and reach out via email at Info@BettlehouseNYC.com.