Evil Spirits: An Inside Look at NYC's Tim Burton-Themed Bar, Beetle House

Halloween hit New York City early this year when Beetle House opened up this past May at 308 East 6th Street down in the East Village.

If you haven't been, you need to. 

This downtown haunt pays homage to one of the most spooky and creative movie makers of our time, Tim Burton, as it's 'inspired by all things dark and lovely.'

We took an up-close look at this spooktacular spot to wet our whistle as Halloween creeps closer towards us.


1. Beetle House literally celebrates Halloween all year round.


Although there are numerous themed bars in the city, celebrating everything from nerd culture to Christmas, bar owners Chris Neil and Brian Link wanted something to evoke the fun and feel of Halloween all year and not just in October.

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The intimate space is dimly lit by hanging chandeliers and candelabras, surrounded by weird and random decor, like a hanging bookshelf with legs and surgical tools framed in a shadowbox. There are also over 100 Tim Burton-inspired fan art and memorabilia pieces to be found around the bar.


2. The cocktails are all themed to one of Burton's movies.

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As it should be, all of the cocktails at Beetle House pay respect to some element in one of Burton's movies, such Edward's Lemonade, a citrus-spiked Old Fashioned with orange bitters or This Is Halloween! with fireball, pumpkin liqueur, sour apple pucker and apple cider.

Feel like you're spinning into Wonderland with Alice's Cup O' Tea, which mixes peach vodka, gin, rum, tequila, peach schnapps and sour mix with a splash of Coke. You can also do the Swedish Fish Candies fish bowl if you want to all dive in the deep end of their cocktail menu together.


3. You can get food here too!


From 4:30 to 11:30 p.m., you can get some dastardly good food at Beetle House too, also all themed to Burton's famous works. Start off with some crazy hot Nightmare Wings or dare to try one of Mrs. Lovett's Pot Pies, stuffed with chicken, Romano garlic cream and veggies (we hope!)

They also do brunch on the weekends from 11 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. and serve up some ghoulish delights like the Eggs Skellington, two poached eggs served on top of honey garlic toast with bacon, avocado and sriracha cream sauce. Don't forget a side of Cheshire Mac.

Just make sure to make a dining reservation beforehand. 


4. Many patrons dress up to drink.


It's hard to walk into Beetle Bar and not want to don a Gothic top hat or bust out your black steampunk corset you used for last Halloween. So, many do! It's not rare to see a few scattered visitors come dressed in appropriate garb or something straight out from one of Burton's movies.

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If you're lucky enough, you can even catch Beetlejuice himself skulking around the bar in his classic striped suit. If he's not over your mortal existence, he'll even pose for a commemorative picture with you. Just beware of the bio-exorcist's shenanigans.


5. The bar isn't officially associated with Tim Burton.

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Although it's clearly a shrine dedicated to him, Tim Burton isn't officially affiliated with the bar. Owners Neil and Link are just Burton super-fans who wanted to create a different and niche place for spooky aficionados to gather and geek out over their masterful creation.

However, it's been rumored that Burton's publicist has been in touch with the bar to discuss future promoting opportunities. Maybe they should just try saying his name three times.

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

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