UPDATE: According to Grub Street, 'Merica has closed after just three weeks.
The sleek-looking fabric covering the banquettes at ‘Merica really speaks to the whole motif of the place. It’s duct tape -- red-white-and-blue-colored duct tape -- though management humorously calls it “American leather.”
If the name 'Merica didn't immediately tip you off to the kitschy theme, the rest of the decor at this subterranean East Village saloon will. That duct tape is complemented by political cartoons, old sports memorabilia, Christmas lights, and guns... lots of guns (all purportedly non-functional, thank Jesus). Much of the displayed artillery comes with accompanying floral arrangements in an apparent attempt to appease both hawk and dove diners alike.
The hokey concept is the brainchild of Radouane ElJaouhari, who previously operated the restaurant Zerza in the same location, and Zach Neil, who runs the Tim Burton-inspired bar Beetle House nearby.
Say what you will about the cheeky dish titles -- Bald Eagle Wings? Pizza Pottamac? All Merican Super Macho Fire House Chili? But you can’t argue with the near-perfect timing of the restaurant’s arrival -- toward the bitter end of one of the most divisive presidential elections in US history.
So, on the eve of the third and final 2016 presidential debate, Team Thrillist stopped by the new venue, now in “soft opening” mode, to taste-test its two headline-grabbing burgers, each created in tribute to the respective major-party candidates, neither entirely flattering in their menu descriptions, nor quite cooked to order (which is fitting, given the low likability of both politicians).