Friday, November 4, 2016

'Merica dream fades as Zerza returns to 6th Street



After less than three weeks in business, 'Merica, described as "the most American bar and restaurant in the world," has apparently closed here on Sixth Street between First Avenue and Second Avenue. (Thanks to EVG regular Creature for the tip.)

The red, white and blue awning now advertises Moroccan Mediterranean food... and the menu for the previous tenant, Zerza, has returned... (now La Zerza)...



It was a whirlwind month or so here. The well-liked Zerza closed in late September. Then came the Facebook page for 'Merica, co-founded by Radoune Eljaouhari, who ran Zerza, and Zach Neil, an owner of the Tim Burton-themed Beetle House a few doors away on Sixth Street as well as Stay Classy, the bar for Will Ferrell fans on Rivington Street.

As Patch reported:

Neil said he, a Christian, and Eljaouhari, a Muslim, bonded over making fun of "all things America." Especially during this election season, they find Americana to be exceptionally funny, Neil said.

"I mean it's just crazy that Donald Trump is running for president," he said.

Crazy, sure, but not really funny.


[Photo from last Friday]

The décor included rifles, NASCAR memorabilia ... as well as TVs showing episodes of the Chuck Norris vehicle "Walker, Texas Ranger." It was supposed to be a humorous, tongue-in-cheek homage to the "real America" ... there were advertised debate nights, where diners could discuss a variety of topics, humorous or otherwise, during this divisive election season. (There was a "House of Cards" trivia and dinner scheduled on Election Night.)

The menu, full of comfort foods with names like the Walmart, the Hog Beast and the Boo Boo Burger, included topical items such as the The T-Rump Mexican Burger and the Hillary Burger, "a 100-calorie lie" — a triple bacon cheeseburger topped with mac and cheese.

Despite some opening publicity (including a segment on "Good Day New York"), the dining room sat empty. (One direct neighbor claims that he never spotted one person inside, other than employees.)

Around 1 a.m. on Wednesday, an EVG reader says that she saw a worker taking the "Taste the Liberty" words off of the awning "using some kind hair drying or torch." Sounds pretty American.

Previously

35 comments:

JQ LLC said...

Failure.

I suggest if you want a theme how about "Soup Kitchen". Because the fact that the majority of citizens in this city have to ration or put off meals to pay the rent that we/they can no longer afford, would probably be just as amusing to these dummies.

This return to traditional meditarrian cuisine will also fail. Choose your partners wisely next time, stay away from that vulture capitalist Zach.

Anonymous said...

Well that's one way to make America great again. Maybe next time they won't insult everybody by coming on here and making up fake identities like "Hamad" and then use broken english to portray these fake posters as immigrants defending racist sounding menu items and a lame concept that was doomed from the start. And maybe they shouldn't call other people racist for calling out their phony nonsense and racist sounding Kanye fried chicken sandwiches. With Yelp reviews like "Easily the worst food I've had in a very long time." and "Pathetic dismal place. Terrible food. An eyesore. " it's amazing it lasted a whole month. Tell MSNBCs Tamron Hall not to bother stopping by for a discount on the Trump burger and a free lap dance from Uncle Sam, because this place is a bigger failure than Donald Trump's campaign.

Anonymous said...

It's hilarious and fitting that they didn't even make it to Election Day. Let the fingerpointing and recriminations begin, but it was their own fault for coming up with such an offensive and tone deaf concept. This shitshow was on my EV Deathwatch before they even opened. What a sad place our former Indian Row has become. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Well, the terrorists have truly won. THANKS OBAMA!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Making America work is a lot of hard work, making Merica work was apparently impossible. These guys apparently have money to burn when it comes to bad concepts which entertain them but not even a slice of the general population. I'm all for freedom of speech and expression but it is shameful to squander cash on these silly vanity projects while so many small, privately owned restaurants are having such a hard time at being a real and heartfelt effort.

Anonymous said...

And let the which hunt begin.

Moroccan sounds nice:)

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the way you vote does count. In this case, the neighborhood voted with their opinions and show of non-patronage against this place, and...drumroll...it worked!

Anonymous said...

EVG, you really need to tap in to the financial side of these restaurants - who, what, how much.

Anonymous said...

Worst dining concept ever

Anonymous said...

I'm at Rose of India in my dreams ... with...

Shawn G. Chittle said...

I can't find my comment from the original post but I had predicted 3 months for this place. Wow, 3 weeks must be a new record. You have to ask yourself what someone was thinking with a concept like this...

DrGecko said...

So, Shawn, do you count your prediction as being right or as being wrong?

Anonymous said...

Good. I hope they lost a lot of money.

A lot of people take pride in our country. We've got our problems as does any big family, but this is still the greatest and most prosperous society that human history has ever known and it has taken a lot of sacrifice from many people and families to get it there, and maintain it.

Anonymous said...

thank the lawd!
Zach Neil - stay away from opening any more shitty tawdry theme restaurants in this neighborhood.
go open in your own hood, i'm sure your direct neighbors would be happy.

and try to keep your patrons at Beetlehouse from hanging out noisily on the pavement outside at all hours (they should be inside your restaurant, not hanging out on the pavement regularly).
And ask your costumed employee to STOP calling out loudly all evening long in his raspy voice - it's obnoxious and disturbing. It's as bad as the ice-cream truck jingle that neighborhoods are so disturbed by that a lawsuit was launched.
http://www.metro.us/new-york/ice-cream-jingle-keeps-new-yorkers-awake-inspires-lawsuit/zsJpfB---4zaPOFyX7r0Y/

Anonymous said...

@11:08 well said.

This was a stupid concept and an insulting one, to boot.

I for one moved to NYC to get away from 'Merica as these guys saw it.

Anonymous said...

looking forward to the tagine again.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Zerza tagine was so good! Glad they're back. I used to love their original space (that Beetlehouse now occupies).

Anonymous said...

> Wow, 3 weeks must be a new record.

So you are saying it them longer to put it together that it lasted?

Cosmo said...

I always liked Zerza and was horrified to see what it had morphed into over the last few weeks. Glad it's over. I wish Mr Eljaouhari well.

Anonymous said...

Zach,

Please do not open any more crap food tourist trap places here... The locals will call you out.

and p.s.
don't let the door hit your ass on the way out

Sincerely
long time resident

Anonymous said...

wow so much hate! I ate there a few days ago the food was delicious, especially the donut burger! The staff was friendly and I found all the over-the-top 'merica political stuff quite amusing. Shame so many failed to see the humor in it

Funny/Not Funny said...

"Haters gonna hate," says every guy who everyone hates. Get over it. This was the kind of restaurant concept that a couple of guys come up with after too many drinks at the bar, and when they wake up the next morning they realize what a stupid idea it was. Only someone never woke up, or maybe was just too clueless to realize how stupid and offensive this idea was. So the stupids put up a lot of money and effort just to find out how stupid and offensive it was, and now they want to talk about haters? If I want a laugh I'll go to a comedy club. If I want to eat, I go to a restaurant with good food, not someone's idea of a joke restaurant. If so many people failed to get the joke, maybe that's because the joke wasnt funny in the first place, And now the joke is on you.

Anonymous said...

1:52 PM: I thought you were serious until you said "donut burger."

Anonymous said...

1:52,
And you probably like Beetle Bar, the herpes sore of 6th street spewing drunken bridge and tunnel/ nyu students onto the street.

Bad food, sickly sweet drinks and douche crowds are just not fun for me...

Get off my lawn!

Anonymous said...

@1:52pm sure Zach

Anonymous said...

There's a name for people who are amused by a restaurants "theme": children.

Giovanni said...

"Even I could see this one coming."
-- Zoltar

Anonymous said...

It got what they wanted: So much media attention, not just our usual EV Grieve curmudgeons. Both owners were on Good Day NY and so many articles came out about this place.

I'm wondering if that's all they did it for. It wasn't to actually have this restaurant...just to gain media.

Anonymous said...

@1:52pm sure Zach

I think you mean Hamad

I'm wondering if that's all they did it for. It wasn't to actually have this restaurant...just to gain media.

But for what purpose? Apparently Zach Neil has a nicely profitable, low-key thing going with Stay Classy. Most people didn't know or need to know who owned the place, but after the Merica stunt people DO know -- they know it's owned by a racist dingus who doesn't even live here! Beetle House is a joke that probably will not last for much longer, and I'm sure its connection to Merica didn't help matters. Radoune Eljaouhari seems like a stand-up guy and is probably sorry he ever got mixed up with this Zach Neil clown in the first place. I can't see this as anything else as failure caused directly by one fedora-wearing hillbilly's hubris.

Anonymous said...

I don't plan to patronize this restaurant even though after several trips to Morocco including out of the way places like Oujda I have acquired a liking for Moroccan food. I feel somehow I would be playing into the hands of corrupt people who tried to pull something over on the East Village and its residents.

Eden Bee said...

There are donut burgers Rachel Ray made one with two krispie dreams as the bun. Yep.

Anonymous said...

4:24 PM: "Remember me from that failed restaurant with the incredibly stupid concept that almost no one went to and was open less then 3 weeks? Neither does anyone else."

Anonymous said...

re anon 1:52

' I ate there a few days ago the food was delicious, especially the donut burger! The staff was friendly and I found all the over-the-top 'merica political stuff quite amusing. Shame so many failed to see the humor in it'

Said the one and only customer, Zach.

Anonymous said...

@annon 8:18 Pretty doubtful the owners read this blog. No offense, I just doubt they care.

Anonymous said...

Pretty doubtful the owners read the blog, except they have both posted multiple times. One under multiple names.