EAST VILLAGE — Beetle House, the buzzed-about Tim Burton-inspired bar that has been in preview-mode since Wednesday, will celebrate its grand opening on May 6, according to the founder.
The gothic eatery held a soft opening earlier this week at 308 E. Sixth St., revealing a witchy interior complete with straitjackets, medical equipment and artwork directly inspired by Burton classics.
Despite the name, co-owner Zach Neil maintains the purple-tinted watering hole is not “Beetlejuice”-themed, but is designed to create the atmosphere of the notorious director’s darker works.
“We wanted to design the interior of the bar to look like something that would come out of a Tim Burton film,” said Neil, who started the bar with business partner Brian Link. “It doesn’t look like something from Disney World — it looks like you’re having dinner at Tim Burton’s house.”
The spot offers a food and drink menu catering to the filmmaker's die-hard fans, with cocktails such as the “Beetlejuice,” “The Headless Horseman,” and “Alice’s Cup of Tea.”
For dinner, patrons can feast on a themed menu including Edward Burger Hands, Eggs Skellington and Chesire Mac and Cheese.
The restaurant has enjoyed a string of generous reviews and hype since its soft-opening — Bedford and Bowery’s report noted the excitement of visitors who were clearly loyal Burton fans.
The report also noted the barely premiered business had received a cease-and-desist letter from Warner Bros. over the unauthorized use of the its intellectual property. Neil said he removed the image of Beetlejuice from the restaurant's website at the company's request, but insisted other imagery scattered throughout the eatery are simply "artistic" adaptations of Burton's work rather than blatant rip-offs.
As for the character dressed in an unmistakable Beetlejuice costume described in nearly every account of the spot, Neil told DNAinfo New York the impersonator is not affiliated with the business, though he has been a big hit with patrons.
"He showed up at the bar one night, and he just kept showing up," he said. "I think he lost his voice doing the Beetlejuice voice."
While the restaurant was initially slated for a grand opening in late April, Neil said it has been officially scheduled for May 6. The ribbon-cutting will reveal a complete menu and updated interior decor, Neil said.