The Beetle House is a Tim Burton-themed bar that just opened a few months back at 308 E 6th Street in the East Village of Manhattan. When we found ourselves recently on a big adventure in that borough chasing down Psycho Houses and Washington Irving sites (counts as a Sleepy Hollow reference), we decided we wouldn’t break from all the oddities for lunch…we’d choose an oddity for lunch.
And the reservation-only policy made instant sense. It was a tiny place. Like Oompa-Loompa-sized. A long thin hallway was half taken up lengthwise by a bar, which ended in a scattering of tables seating less than two dozen people really close together. A large Styrofoam Burtonesque sculpture dangled from the ceiling, and art inspired by Burton’s movies lined the wall opposite the bar, behind which was a giant version of Beetlejuice’s headstone.
According to the brunch menu, the place also featured costumed characters, which weren’t there for us, so we missed out on being attacked by Martians or served by cabin boys or charmed by Vincent Price. The blood-stained menu only sporadically made apathetic Burton puns: Edward Burger Hands, Sweeney Steak and Eggs, Eggs Skellington. Out of more than a dozen items, that was it. A quick check of their dinner menu online revealed the same. Were it up to me, I’d expect a Melancholy Death of Oyster Bar, Ed Wood-Fired Big Fish, or Grilled Frankenweenie, followed by a Big Eye-Scream Sundae with a Plantain of the Apes and Charlie and the Chocolate Sauce. James and the Giant Peach Cobbler.
Overall, I’d call it lightly Tim Burton-themed, which is also how'd I'd describe most of his recent movies. Just enough to not risk a lawsuit (they disclaim their lack of a connection to the director all over their website). The fun part about dining there in my experience, was overhearing everybody talking about Tim Burton movies. I mean nobody ordered shrimp cocktails and broke into Henry Belafonte, but the director was the topic of most of the conversations I overheard in our close quarters.
In conclusion, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.