You'll have to get your red, white and blue fix elsewhere.|Eva Kis1/2 You'll have to get your red, white and blue fix elsewhere.|Eva Kis
President-elect Donald Trump is bad for business — at least for ‘Merica.
With the Electoral College making his presidency official yesterday, we decided to check in on the spot that should be cheering the loudest. NYC's very own hub of patriotism, the red, white and blue-wrapped East Village restaurant and bar with guns, deer heads and NASCAR license plates mounted on the walls would surely be the only place you could still find a smiling face in this weary hamlet.
Except it closed the day after the election, just when we could've used one of the heart-stopping calorie bombs that was their Trump or Clinton burgers most.
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'Merica co-owner Radouane Eljaouhari, who had run the Middle Eastern restaurant Zerza in the same space for 13 years before partnering with themed bar mogul Zach Neil (Beetle House, Stay Classy), told us back when it opened in mid-October that ‘Merica was not meant to be a pop-up. “If it’s not Donald Trump, who knows who’s going to run for mayor? There is always something to laugh about,” he said.
Its stated mission was “celebrating and making fun of all things MERICA,” but apparently even they couldn’t find anything funny in the election results. Here's the statement that appeared on the restaurant's Facebook page on Nov. 9, the day after the election:
“This social experiment in food and culture started thinking we'd see Bernie [S]anders elected president, and our very tasty [T]rump and Hillary burgers would have been a comical reminder of how insane and stupid the country had gotten during this election."
(It should be noted that Hillary Clinton was chosen as the Democratic Party’s nominee for president on July 26. The restaurant opened Oct. 15, so the Sanders connection doesn’t quite add up.)
“Instead we saw a divided country where people actually considered and then voted for Trump and Clinton. What a shame, [what] a sad state of affairs. So the experiment is over, the joke isn't funny anymore. Our group will certainly continue to feed hungry people great food and strive to provide a fun and entertaining concept and environment but never again to touch on politics! Thanks for those who ate and drank with us, and to all Americans we still love you even though you are clearly drunk and need to sleep it off! #merica”
Fair enough. Certainly when headlines from The Washington Post start looking more like The Onion, satire becomes a much more difficult feat to pull off.
Amid the jokes and tacky Americana, though, ‘Merica did aspire to be a place forlegitimately discussingcurrent events as a way to build bridges. But when the best retort our president-elect can muster during a nationally televised debate is calling his opponent a “nasty woman,” maybe a little less patriotism is exactly what we need.
Reached via Facebook, the ‘Merica team struck a hopeful note about the future: “Donald trump won, no one is laughing anymore maybe when things calm down and people are ready for some levity we'll return.”