Immediately after sitting down at the newly-opened Megu, restaurateur Jon Bakhshi (better known as Jon B.) ushered me right back into the entryway. There, a rainbow chandelier was hanging. At first glance, it looked Instagram-worthy enough. That is, until he showed me the perfect place from which to take the picture at the top of the stairs and the mirrored hallway was filled with hundreds of bright lights. “I love the infinity box,” he announced. “At the old Megu, it was one of the signatures.”
The old Megu had two locations, before unexpectedly closing. They had a small infinity area with chandeliers; at the new Meatpacking restaurant, Bakhshi decided to go bigger and bolder. “I thought to myself, walking down the stairway, we need something very cool,” the former club promoter recalled. “It was the perfect opportunity to make an infinity box. At first everyone asked, ‘What are you doing?’ and I said, ‘Just wait until it all comes together.’”
Bakhshi often makes bets with his employees and those around him; one was that visitors would like the blue lighting in the dining room. The 3D mapping on the wall allows the colors to change with the touch of a screen, and frequent visitors often put in requests based on their mood. Bakhshi refers to the room as a “transformer.” The bright colors offer a selfie-friendly touch, since “people generally look better in red lighting,” according to Bakhshi.
At most so-called “clubsteraunts,” the food leaves much to be desired. People are left with the choice between a buzzy atmosphere and food that’s actually worth eating. At Megu, there’s no reason to choose, as the Sex and the City aesthetic pairs well with truffled french fries, providing fuel for an evening out.
While Bakhshi tasted a Japanese whiskey mojito and added it to the menu, Top Chef alum Frances Tariga-Weshnak stopped by to give a synopsis of the lengthy menu. She told us the favorites so far have been edamame lollipops (Tariga-Weshnak called them a “best-seller”), beet tartare and tuna cones.
The tuna and steak are distinctively stamped with Megu’s logo, though not all of the items are meat-heavy. Bakhshi, who keeps kosher, made sure there are separate fryers and the menu notes what’s vegetarian. The raindrop cake is popular for dessert.
Bakhshi also owns Beautique, and has a knack for getting influencers to frequent his new locales. Fittingly, celebrities are able to sneak into Megu through a separate VIP entrance in the adjoining Dream Hotel. The crowd so far has been social media-savvy, although no celebrities have stopped by just yet. Still, the crowd “happens to be very, very good-looking. It’s just shocking. It’s crazy actually,” Bakhshi told the Observer. The next time an out-of-town visitor wants a potential celebrity sighting, or at least an Instagram to prove they had the weekend of the century, Megu is waiting just down a staircase.