This is Halloween.
Actually, it’s May, but Halloween has hit the East Village permanently with the opening of a new Tim Burton-themed bar, Beetle House (308 E. 6th St.).
“We want to change the way people are eating and drinking in the city,” said Chris Neil, who co-owns Beetle House with Brian Link. The duo is also behind Stay Classy, New York, the ever popular Will Ferrell-themed bar that opened this past fall.
“All the bars in New York are very much the same: Irish pub, Irish pub, Irish pub, Irish pub, Irish pub, sports bar, Irish pub,” Neil said. “And I’m not Irish and I don’t like sports.”
Neil, who prefers enjoying a drink without Monday night football fans rooting for some team on TV, was inspired to start the Will Ferrell-themed bar out of a love for the comedian’s movies. “It’s a place where you can just laugh and have a good time,” Neil described. He aimed to recreated this aesthetic with his second bar project.
Both big admirers of Tim Burton, Neil and Link decided to create a bar and restaurant with a menu and decor inspired by the artist. Aiming for “a gothy, Halloween all year kind of feel,” Beetle House came to life.
Tim Burton is in no way affiliated with the bar, though his publicist has been in contact with the bar for future promotions. “We’ve never had the privilege of meeting him, but now we have a place where his fans gather in New York,” said Neil.
The TV-free bar won’t show any of Burton’s movies, just stepping into the deep purple walled Beetle House reveals the inspiration. “All of the decor is vintage, antique oddities,” Neil said. “Medical equipment, old books … all of these antiques are 100 plus years old and from all over New York and the world.” Antiques, worth $35,000, in fact, decorate the bar which pays ode to “Sweeney Todd,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and pretty much the entire Burton canon. More memorabilia, commissioned art, a spiderweb on the ceiling and a fog machine will be added before the bar’s official opening.
Beetle House is currently in its soft opening, with doors open at 4 p.m. each day. The official opening night is May 6. And yes, Yes, Beetlejuice is on the menu. Take a look around.