Fake Restaurant Prank: Joke Among NYC Roommates Grows Into Wildly Elaborate Stunt

The viral stunt began as a joke among a group of roommates in New York but eventually grew into an unforgettable pop-up experience.

Video via FOX 5 New York

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Video via FOX 5 New York

More often than not, pranks fall squarely in the category of lame. But on occasion, a rare and decidedly hilarious exception emerges

Take Mehran’s Steak House, for example. Despite its real-sounding name and official website with a waitlist, the would-be New York hot spot Mehran’s Steak House is, in fact, not a real restaurant.

According to Danielle Egan, one of the founders of the fake steakhouse in question, the idea was born out of a desire to do “something silly and ridiculous” that brings people together.

"Mehran made steak, like, every other week," Egan told FOX 5 New York when breaking down how a simple joke about one of the 14 people living in an Upper East Side house together evolved into a virality-ensuring performance art piece.


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As detailed in the viral TikTok above, a group of tech workers in their early 20s gave the building the name Mehran’s Steak House on Maps. This quickly spawned fake reviews of the fake restaurant from real friends, which later led to the establishment of an official website for the restaurant, which, notably, is not real.

For the grand finale, those behind the fake steakhouse decided to call up people off a waitlist for the nonexistent restaurant. Invitees later dined at a pop-up experience that saw the studious steakhouse fakers enlisting the assistance of a bust of Mehran, fake menus from prior dining dates that never occurred, fake Drake fans positioned outside the space to further fuel the hype, a staged proposal, and more.

“You’ve heard about it, now come live our revolutionary steak experience,” a message on an archived version of the fake restaurant’s website reads. In an update shared to the site, it’s noted that “60 friends created a restaurant for one night” as part of a “project for Meridian.”

As you may have guessed, it sounds like the fake restaurant founders do indeed hope to pull off another feat of prankery in the near future.

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