Wednesday, October 5, 2016

About 'Merica NYC

[Photo by Vinny & O from last Thursday]

There was some confusion about what exactly 'MericaNYC is going to be at 320 E. Sixth St. between First Avenue and Second Avenue. Is it an actual restaurant? Is it just a pop-up creation for the last legs of Election 2016? Is someone just trolling neighbors?

As we understand it, 'America NYC is a venture between the owner of the previous restaurant in this space, Zerza, and his neighbors a few doors away at the Tim Burton-themed Beetle House. (The Beetle House owners, Zach Neil and Brian Link, also operate Stay Classy, the bar for Will Ferrell fans on Rivington Street.)

Zerza owner Radouane Eljaouhari left a lengthy comment about 'Merica NYC, and how it came about, on the EVG post from Friday. He mentioned that Neil would come in from Beetle House for a meal, and that they engaged in wide-ranging conversations on a variety of topics.

Yes I am a restaurateur but I have great interests in other things as well and like many of you, I enjoy debates and politics.

And being an American Muslim from Morocco, I found myself on many occasions to be a link to explain a few questions about my culture and religion, and so many times and to my delight, I find great pleasure in clarifying a few false clichรฉs.

Some readers were turned off by the 'Merica NYC menu items, such as The Kanye, "Fried breast of chicken tossed in a creamy rich Alfredo sause served over mashed potatoes, then drizzled with a balsamic glaze. This meal will make you into a famous rapper and a narcissistic asshole. Ask the public to loan you the money for it."

The menu items have since been removed from 'Merica NYC's Facebook page. At this point we don't know if they are actual menu items or just someone's idea of humor leading up to the grand opening.

In any event, back to Eljaouhari's comment:

At the end of the day, it is going to be a restaurant that will sell two main items: Food and Beverages. It is going to be a business that will provide a few job opportunities to a few students and a few kitchen staff, like us, individuals with families that have obligations to pay their bills. We are all looking forward to succeeding.

Please be patient and give it a chance before you give your verdicts and most importantly wish us luck.

The restaurant is expected to open soon.

Here are some of Neil's Instagram posts from August promoting the new establishment... (Updated 10 a.m.: The posts have been removed the account is now private...)

A photo posted by Zach Neil (@therealzachneil) on

A photo posted by Zach Neil (@therealzachneil) on

Oh, and no one really seems to know who Hamad is from those Friday comments.

Previously on EV Grieve:
USA today: 'Merica NYC signage arrives

Zerza has closed on 6th Street; Merica NYC coming soon?


Anonymous said...

This is so corny. So, so, so corny. This is deep-fried cornmeal-battered corn at the State Fair CORN BALL. And the worst part is this walking, talking fedora Zach Neil thinks this is actually funny. Which it is, to white, alcoholic dads at a New Jersey strip mall. In 1985.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Maybe MAD magazine will open a similar restaurant nearby or National Lampoon brunch spot where the Eggs Benedict will betray your stomach.

Anonymous said...

"Making fun of America" OK I get it but what a horrendous business model...guarantee the joke will be on them, probably by the end of the year. Take your gimmicks to the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

Sorry but just look at this guys Zach's Instagram and you can see how racist he is. He posted an anti Al Sharpton meme, calls him a fool, and A dinosaur. Zach lectures his fan base about how noone is racist anymore. The meme shows Al Sharpron in front of a White Caslte with the caption "These Burgers Are So Racist." And then he wrote this:

"therealzachneilDying! #oscars #realtalk no one cares about color anymore except the race baiting dinosaurs like this fool. Talk to any of today's youth, bright, loving and smart and above all not a racist bone in their bodies. I can't wait for this generation of old idiots to die out."

Really? Theres no racism anymore? Are you not paying attention to the news Zach? Are you a Trump supporter too? Maybe guys like Zach dont like civil right leaders like Al Sharpton because they remind him how white he is. Sorry Zach, you might say that the racist Kanye fried chicken sandwich on your suddenly deleted menu was a "joke" but theres no spinning this one.

Anonymous said...

No doubt this reset (and the dropping of Hamad) was in part caused by the avalanche of negative posts on EVG. If the owners of this horror show want to see good / honest marketing, take a look at the simplicity and honesty of the statement by Ioana Holt, about Rose and Basil. I don't know her and Mr. Wang, but I will start making regular trips there. This is the type of energy that makes the EV work and makes people want to support a new enterprise.

Anonymous said...

Oh, where to even begin? For starters "white people" commenting on this post. NO, neither chicken nor any other meat product (for that matter) has any racial identity. If you think that it does you are very confused. So we can move forward from the white guy stuff because that is actually discriminatory. The man most famous for fried chicken would be colonel sanders, certainly not Kanye west. As for whether this is a joke, and whether that joke is funny or not, would be up to the individual patrons I suppose. As far as any type of racism here, its owner as you can see is an African Muslim. Whether or not your small group of neighborhood defenders support this place really is irrelevant. As I see it from my limited time in this neighborhood, most of you support next to nothing. The vast majority of money and support for these local businesses come from across town, out of state and the suburbs. How do you think beetle house has done so well? None of you support it, yet it is full every single day. I'm sure the other restaurants next door and the corner market and others enjoy the influx of patrons to their businesses from the increased traffic. Believe it or not, businesses need money to survive. Also a good way to find out all of the details would be to simply contact the business, I know, it's so much easier to speculate. The intent of this blog is to be a pretentious cry blog geared towards those who hate everything and want to make sure their gripes are heard on a wide and engaging array of subject matter including the neighborhood and also the neighborhood and then also the neighborhood.

To summarize and close, you are judging people whom you have never met by a food menu, a sign and instagram memes. Think about the status of your lives, really see where you are at as a person. Then realize the truth. This place will more than likely to very well, so you'll have something to complain about for at least a couple years to come.

Cosmo said...

My advice to Mr Eljaouhari is to dump that business partner and start over with the exact opposite idea. If neither one of these guys gets why any of this is offensive, they really don't belong in business.

And I will never patronize Beetle House or any place that guy runs. I'm no Kanye fan, but that fried chicken 'joke' is reprehensible.

Anonymous said...

At first I thought this was a joke... Then I went into Beetle House and saw a shit show of a bar catering to clueless transients who are willing to suffer from overpriced horrid food, sickly sweet drinks for a cheesy ambiance....

Please, go away Mr. Elijaouhari

Long time resident

Anonymous said...

Starting a jingoism-themed restaurant caricaturing America's foibles during an intensely divided time in this country--and an election that could very well undermine the future of it--is tone deaf at best and insulting at worst.

Fuck this place.

Anonymous said...

Yes it is exactly what's needed, a place to laugh and have fun rather than hate and bitch all day hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ–•๐Ÿฟ

Anonymous said...

Busted! Zach just deleted his Instagram page with all the racist crap! Too bad that the posts and images are still out there for anyone to find.

The fact that Zach and his partner have not apologized for the racist Kanye fried chicken menu item, and hasn't come forward to say that Hamad was a faker (or is it fakir?) who was ginned up to insult people by calling them racist while hiding behind a fake identity is proof that this place has no respect for the people who live on the block or this neighborhood. Instead they just lurk and post pot shots, while dreaming of how many idiots will fall for this latest stunt. He owes everyone an apology.

Anonymous said...

@11:20 AM, you are correct less than 1% of the regular commenters here would even dream of going to these guys establishments for any other reason than an emergency bathroom stop. These places are for tourists and the transient residents of the EV that for some reason enjoy the most un-cool things in our society and spit up. What you are missing is that long time residents are witnessing the closure of businesses that were not designed as here today, something else tomorrow as these restauranteurs (generous with that term) are into. I noticed this happening with the Greenwich Village Halloween parade over the years. What once was a spontaneous event filled with drag queens and absurd and imaginative costumes become the corporate sponsored shit show it is now. Participants now only wear store bought recognizable costumes representing mainstream pop characters. Meanwhile the audience is mostly tourists who scream with delight when they see their 20th Spiderman, or 18th Mickey Mouse or 35th Darth Vader costume. Don't hate on the old timers, we never understand what the hell the kids are into these days.

Anonymous said...

Yeap, Zack, you're right, it's all about the money.

Landlords are destroying the neighborhood by astronomically raising the rents for small businesses, why, because it's all about the money.

Shitty theme bars that cater to tourists, why not, it's all about the money.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous/Zach's post OCTOBER 5, 2016 AT 11:20 AM:

You are wrong. We east villagers actually support our local businesses all the time. In fact, the only places we eat and drink at are all within mainly a few blocks radius, all in the East Village. The reason you don't see neighborhood people in your establishment, Beetle House, is because it sucks. It's been disruptive to the block ever since it opened.

I have been living here for many years now, and never have I objected to any restaurant that opened in the neighborhood. Beetle House is loud, noisy, it deliberately caters to out of town-ers who have no respect for the people actually living in the area - they stand around drunk and noisy all evening long. And your character standing outside in costume shouting at the top of his voice all the time, trying to drag more patrons in - makes things a hundred times worse. We go to every other restaurant on the block, we used to love Zerza too, we get our friends from other neighborhood in the city to come and go to dinner/drinks with us in the east village all the time. So we do support businesses in our hood, just not your shitty obnoxious theme restaurant.

Anonymous said...

Confusing is a good word here… the owners want to make fun of everything merica - yet
want the money for the very same things ?
Talk about insulting - and the boot to all this - they think people
are so stupid they will support being insulted, like it's a good thing ?
The joke may be on them.

Anonymous said...

Hahahahaha can't wait for this place to open.

Anonymous said...

The content wasn't deleted the Instagram page is private.

Anonymous said...

Zach Neil is clearly peeing his pants. Can't wait for Grub Street to get a hold of this story next, then Gothamist, DNAInfo, Bedford & Bowery ... It was quite unwise for Neil to state that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are involved. He also said he had a Michelin star chef -- Michelin might have something to say about that -- and along with the offensive Hamad character, his obvious comfort with utter fabrications is going to make it real easy for every blog in town to paint him as a con artist before this place ever opens. And that's before anyone touches the racism or not-really-funny-since-2006 Chuck Norris memes.

Dude is toast. Nice knowin' ya, Beetle House

Zach's Cooked Goose said...

This is getting crazy. Now that those racist memes and menu items blew up in their faces they are running scared. Zach used Chuck Norris, two of the main guys from Duck Dynasty, Donald Trump and other celebrities in the artwork for the ads for this restaurant. I doubt every celebrity is going to allow them to use their names and likenesses in ads without compensation. I see some big lawsuits in their future. Maybe that's why Zach is hiding everything on his social media accounts as fast as he can.

Zach Neil said...

I guess I am late to the party. Thanks for the heads up. Anyway, yeah I am your guy. Feel free to bash away, I have a pretty thick skin. yep, I am working with Rad to open a new place. Nope, I have nothing to apologize about, there is not a racist bone in my body and those who know me know that for certain. For those who do not know me I have no obligation to entertain your anonymous accusations. This place is a mishmash of the last 50 years or so of political, pop culture and American culture the things I believe make up the term "Merica". yes its funny to me, you don't have to agree. Rad and I both love good food and having a good time, both are things we will do here. Come, don't come all good either way. We love to laugh, and debate, that is why I open places that are fun to me, I have a great time doing them. I am not concerned with the noise. If it fails that's ok, I will still have fun doing it, lots of things fail. Anyway, when I post I leave my name so I can be identified. Lots of people trolling here but I honestly love it, some of it has been fun to read. As far as being a good neighbor, that is something I am always concerned with. So if something happening at one of my places is causing anyone who lives here trouble, please reach out to me and I will take that very seriously, not trying to hurt anyone. As far as my personal opinions, status, shoe size, sexual orientation, political views say whatever you want, all good. This is my official statement to the EV GRIEVE. I probably wont post again but who knows.

Anonymous said...

two or three feel good stories about this one and no one says a thing. These type of stories and the anticipation of something to complain about makes up 95% of the readers. It's all becoming very predictable.

Zach's Personal Translator said...

Zach Neil Transation: After I finished peeing in my pants when I saw the backlash to my racist viral marketing campaign, I took my Instagram account private and then posted a passive aggressive non-apology on EV Grieve to act as if I had no idea this backlash was happening and to prevend that I'm not concerned about the backlash at all. Now if you will excuse me I have to go pee in my pants again.


It helps to actually be funny when trying to be funny.

Anonymous said...

Late to the party, right. You took down your facebook posts last night, and the hid your Instagram posts early this morning, long before you posted. And since your business partner was the one posting like a responsible adult, you must be Hamad. Nice try.

Anonymous said...

Why would the owner want to be so obnoxious and alienate potential customers -
why start a business off like that ?
It's like I don't like you, want to insult you but want your money, now go away
so I can laugh at you behind your back.
Is that the hipster way ?
Terrible attitude.

Anonymous said...

There are many people that have risked and lost life and limb to have the honor of serving "Murica," and friends and families of those who help carry that sacrifice. My father was lucky to come back from Vietnam, but he was never the same. Good to see that's all a big fucking joke to them.

If you or a loved one has served, or even if you haven't but just want to stand up for those who have, leave horrible reviews on yelp and google about this place once it opens.

Anonymous said...

We should all thank Zach for finally confirming a lot about what we all know about both landlords and bar owners around here. Most of them don't live here and they don't relate to the people who do live here, as revealed by the arrogant approach and attitude. They just see dollar signs and will do anything they can to squeeze the last nickel out of any business opportunity. And they don't really care who they run over in the process. We saw it with the Hyrnenkos, Icon, Ben Shaoul, Jared Kishner, with the Bro Bars who promote SantaCon, and once agin we see it right here. Entitled, obnoxious, and not nearly as creative or original as they think they are. Sad.

Anonymous said...

๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ you're sooooo serious. I love this blog!

Anonymous said...

It tells us everything we need to know that "serious" is seen as a negative or hilarious quality in the world of Zach Neil.

Radouane said...

I m not a landlord and I m not defending any of them, but let s not forget the very high cost of maintaining a building here in New York. The city keeps on raising the property tax, and these landlords keep on raising rents astronomically in order to cover their buildings overhead. We, the tenants and (especially commercial tenants), are the ones who get squeezed while trying to keep up.

Anonymous said...

living in a neighborhood is pretty serious. try it.

try moving to the block where you've got your restaurant Zach, try living in a small apartment with high rent here with your daughter, and see how it feels to come back after a long draining day at work and still not be able to have have any rest or peace in what should be your little haven of a home - because of all the noise generated by an obnoxious loud theme restaurant/bar.

Anonymous said...

Funny, Zach Neil, I mean “Anonymous,” said at 11:20 AM yesterday:

neither chicken nor any other meat product (for that matter) has any racial identity. If you think that it does you are very confused. So we can move forward from the white guy stuff because that is actually discriminatory.

Then Zach Neil himself said at 1:32 yesterday

there is not a racist bone in my body and those who know me know that for certain

Setting aside 1) that no one here knows Neil “for certain,” or needs to; all of us in this world are judged by our actions, not our alleged intent; and 2) only racists ever have to say that they “don’t have a racist bone” in their bodies in the first place—why then did Zach Neil admit that he knew exactly what he was doing with the Kanye fried chicken “joke” when he spoke to Patch. com, also yesterday?

Zach Neil, co-founder of the bar, said "The Kanye" wasn’t really going to be on the menu, and it was just posted for "shock value."

He’s obviously bro’ed down with someone over at Eater NY, though, because they’ve reported on Merica twice but feel no need to mention the well-documented racism and lying. This is completely unsurprising.

Gerald F. said...

This whole thread is so stupid. I think people need to find some hobbies on here and leave these people alone. Have you ever tried starting your own business??? You all sound like a bunch of haters who have nothing else better to do than to complain about how your little baby east village is being "gentrified" by people who want to make money (like we all do). Why don't you guys stop being so sensitive about jokes on america (because come on our two candidates for president are Trump and Hillary...thats a joke right now) and just support some people trying to make something out of hard work and passion for food. Get the fuck over yourselves for being so snooty and offended by everything.

I like to be reminded of mass shootings while I eat said...

From the Patch article -

The venue's walls will be loaded with stereotypical Americana, the "we're gonna free the sh-t out of everyone" stuff, as Neil put it. Assault weapons, sports memorabilia, antique guns and macho pop culture artifacts will be plastered everywhere, he said.

Assault weapons on the walls. Seriously?

There will be a George W. Bush week, a Bill Clinton week, a Barack Obama week, and there will, obviously, be a Chuck Norris week.

'Merica NYC will only serve beer and wine, no hard liquor, Neil said. "It’s not going to be some college bar," he said.

Not a college bar, yet theme weeks and college bro decor. I'm confused - who is supposed to be the target customer? The only one I can come up with is a tourist who makes a single trip to this farce to take a picture. This place belongs (if it belongs anywhere) in Times Square.

Anonymous said...

Gerald, people fight and die to defend the country and its honor. Maybe that doesn't mean anything to you. It means a lot to me.

America isn't perfect by a long shot, but I don't consider it a joke. If an American were to open a bar called "Limey bastard" in London, I don't think it would go over very well and that the person in question would be rounded on for being a huge asshole. This is basically the same thing.

The community here may be 100% living in the past, bitch about everything that hasn't been here since 1989 and unable to cope with the fact that time doesn't stand still, but that doesn't mean that this Murica nonsense isn't hugely disrespectful. Even a broken clock will be right twice per day.

Anonymous said...

Sure thing, Gerald/Hamad/Zach.

Anonymous said...

"Gerald," did it ever occur to you that a whole lotta people who work in media read and comment here, and what you call "bitching," aka making proper note of the exact words and behaviors of prominent local business owners, politicians, etc., isn't really a "hobby" so much as it what such people do every day? I'm fairly sure it never occurred to your buddy Zach Neil. That's too bad for him, but don't blame the citationers.

but do go on

*turns on tape recorder*

Mike said...

the more you talk about them the more popular they will become. Live and let live.

Anonymous said...

the more you talk about them the more popular they will become.

You're so right, Hamad! I mean Gerald! I mean Mike! There were probably three times as many comments here about Empire Biscuits, and look at them today!