Upper East Side, Manhattan (WABC) — What happens when an inside joke turns into the town’s worst secret?
For the mastermind behind New York’s one-night-only Mehran’s Steak House, the answer is simple: go all out.
During the pandemic, Willy Hopps was living on the Upper East Side with a group of roommates, including Mehran Jalali.
Jalali cooks steak so often that the roommates jokingly relabeled their apartment on Google Maps as “Mehran’s Steak House.”
But they didn’t stop there.
Taking it a step further, they created a website that teases that the steakhouse is six months old and you can leave your contact information for when reservations open.
Even though that’s not true, that hasn’t stopped New York foodies from vying for reservations at this less-than-authentic restaurant.
It doesn’t help that friends are adding positive reviews to fictional listings.
Before long, the fake steakhouse had attracted enough attention on social media that the waiting list was full.
“I live on the Upper East Side, two blocks from where the so-called steakhouse is,” said Kyle Hertzog, who put his name on a waiting list and eventually received an invitation to the restaurant One of hundreds.
At that point, after all the fakery, there’s only one thing left for peers to do: make it happen.
They prepared for six months, renting a space for a Saturday night party — inviting everyone on the waiting list.
To prove their commitment, Wiley, Mehran and his roommates obtained a one-day liquor license, a food handler’s license and invited friends in to help prepare a steak dinner.
A message on the website about the event reads: “60 friends created a restaurant and stayed for one night.”
Unique four-course meal served to over 100 guests.
The menu centered around the evening’s theme, “The Cow’s Circle of Life,” and included items such as mixed green salad, veal meatballs, bruschetta with mozzarella, rib eye with rosemary potatoes, and more.
“I counted, there were only about 30 tables, but there were probably 50 people working there,” Hertzog said. “You could tell most of them had probably never waited for a table in their lives.”
It didn’t take long for diners to eventually realize the whole thing was a ruse, but most took it in stride.
“I would say, I think the friend I was eating with said it best,” Herzog added. “I paid more and got less.”
A unique dining experience – even for just one night.
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