A new pop-up restaurant is offering the ultimate affordable adult happy meal with a three-course meal and a one-of-a-kind prize inside.
Before the pandemic, Zach Neil, the restauranteur behind Beetle House NYC, grew interested in themed, experiential entertainment. When COVID hit, food service went to delivery and curbside pickups and Beetle House started to bring their programming online. However, these experiences were missing something very important: the food.
“When the pandemic hit, we thought it would be amazing if you could do some version of this at home. We started doing live shows on Zoom — it was missing the food component.”
This led to the creation of Pop Shop Kitchen, which offers themed boxes that are not only full of delicious food but offer a virtual experience and a prize for patrons to enjoy, creating the ultimate adult happy meal for New Yorkers.
“With Pop Shop Kitchen, we wanted to see how we could create a thematic experience at home and make it interactive,” said Neil.
Pop Shop’s Kitchen first box, the Kill Box, is based off of the “Kill Bill” series. It contains a three-course meal themed around the films, including pan-seared tuna with a side of Japanese cold noodles and pear cobbler with ice cream for dessert, a collectible ninja headband, and a free online martial arts lesson to enjoy virtually with a group.
Other options for the season include the It Kills Box (based on the “It” films), the Hollow Box (based on the Legend of Sleepy Hollow), the Death Star Box (based on the “Star Wars” films), the Home Alone Box (based on the “Home Alone” films), the Slasher Box (based on 80s slasher films), and the Fitness Box. A full menu of the boxes’ offerings is available on popshopkitchen.com and the prizes and experiences remain a surprise. Many of the boxes include access to online communities and partnerships with local businesses to provide fitness training, art, music lessons, gaming, crafting, and more.
Each box has the option to swap out for gluten-free or vegan options. The themes of the boxes will change periodically as the holiday season approaches.
“It’s high quality food with a prize component. The It Feeds Box comes with a red helium balloon attached to it, so we watch the deliverymen ride off on their bikes with the box and watch everyone get excited,” said Neil. “For future boxes, we’re staying COVID-minded and looking at what winter months bring in boredom and mental health.”
Each box is $29.95. It was important to Neil that the boxes were affordable considering the costs of ordering food through delivery services, especially considering the increase in take-out orders since the start of the pandemic.
“Ordering in is such a part of the culture. On average New Yorkers are ordering in twice a week,” said Neil. Even as a chef I’m ordering Grubhub twice a day because I don’t have time to cook for myself. With that being said, I spend a lot of money — whenever I order, it’s never less than $26. And sometimes the fees and substitutions will increase the price a lot. For just under 30, you get close to $30 worth of food and an activity.”
Patrons can order one of the boxes for pick-up or delivery through Seamless or Grubhub, or by calling the store directly at 646-682-9897. Currently, the delivery zone for Pop Shop Kitchen covers a small radius in Manhattan, however Neil plans to expand their delivery zone by partnering with restaurants in the outer boroughs.
Pop Shop Kitchen is located at 308 E 6th Street. For more information, visit popshopkitchen.com.