Life Is Meaningless: Feel Nothing While Slamming Curly Fries at Northside Yacht Club's Nihilist Arby's Pop-Up

As Nietzsche once said, "God is dead." But beef and cheddars are not.

click to enlarge A Nihilist beef and cheddar featuring 24-hour sous-vide dry-rubbed beef, Sixteen Brick onion roll and mornay sauce made with UrbanStead cheese - PHOTO: NORTHSIDE YACHT CLUB
Photo: Northside Yacht Club
A Nihilist beef and cheddar featuring 24-hour sous-vide dry-rubbed beef, Sixteen Brick onion roll and mornay sauce made with UrbanStead cheese


As Nietzsche once said, "God is dead." But beef and cheddars are not.

They exist and proof can be found Friday, Sept. 25 through Thursday, Oct. 1 at Northside Yacht Club's Nihilist Arby's pop-up, the first of its kind.

"Legendary musician, Punk rocker and Nihilist Arby’s twitter account owner/operator Brendan Kelly has given us the go ahead to become the first physical franchise," says NSYC co-owner Stuart MacKenzie in a release. "It’s the first time we’ve asked for permission to do a restaurant pop-up and we’re not even sure if he’s allowed to give it. Brendan’s played the club a couple of times and thought we’d be a horrible fit, but we’re the only ones willing to do it."

The NSYC has previously transformed into other edibly-themed entities like SkyRosa's — a Skyline and LaRosa's mashup — and, perhaps most infamously, an Applebee's. 

Kelly has more than 393,000 followers on his @Nihilist_Arbys Twitter ("Officially, I have nothing to do with arby's. Unofficially, everything is nothing. Eat Arby's."), contemplating the meaningless of existence paired with a side of curly fries in tweets like: 

  • "Come on down to arbys where we’re serving up the only truth that matters: all of us are doomed and nobody cares at all. Enjoy Arby’s."
  • "Whether you die at the hands of violent paramilitary cops, in the wildfires, of Covid or just from a little good old fashioned night of too much gin and speed, remember: nobody cares and very soon no one will remember you were ever even alive. Eat Arby’s."
  • "Whatever, assholes. Death approaches and time and agency are illusions. You’re already dead. Please continue to eat Arby’s in 2020."
  • "Drain the blood, cure and slice the flesh, season and fry the potatoes, feed them the sugar water. Be born. Toil. Die. Arby's. We sell food. So enjoy Arby’s."
click to enlarge Meaningless human flesh designed to die and be forgotten - PHOTO: NORTHSIDE YACHT CLUB
Photo: Northside Yacht Club
Meaningless human flesh designed to die and be forgotten

NSYC has crafted a menu to mimic the Arby's menu (obviously, otherwise it would be named something else) with 24-hour sous-vide dry-rubbed beef, Sixteen Brick onion rolls and mornay sauce made with UrbanStead cheese. They are also offering Restaurant Depot curly fries, "because you can’t improve on perfection," says MacKenzie. "Just kidding perfection is a myth designed create unattainable goals that reinforces hegemonic norms and power structures."

For vegetarians (and vegans), there is a seitan steak option, crafted after they brought a vegetarian with them to Arby's for a little research and development and asked what vegetarian options are on the menu:

"The man working replied that they were sold out of the fish sandwich, but that we could order a meat sandwich and just take the meat off of it. That really happened. So that is our vegetarian option. We will serve you a meat sandwich and you can take the meat off," MacKenzie says. "If that’s not good enough for you, Jerry made some Seitan Steak which we thin slice and top with our mornay sauce or our cashew-based vegan cheese."

There's also a boozy spin on a Jamocha Shake: Van Gogh Espresso Vodka, Godiva Chocolate liqueur and oat milk. MacKenzie says it's vegan — "but I can assure you that it is not healthy but tastes so good you will forget not to care... about anything, in general."

click to enlarge Restaurant Depot curly fries, a sandwich and homemade RB's and Horse sauce - PHOTO: NORTHSIDE YACHT CLUB
Photo: Northside Yacht Club
Restaurant Depot curly fries, a sandwich and homemade RB's and Horse sauce

Here's the menu: 

  • Double Roast Beef & Fries with your choice of Horse or RB’s Sauce $12
  • Double Beef & Cheddar & Fries with your choice of Horse or RB’s Sauce $12
  • Double Seitan Steak & Fries with your choice of Horse or RB’s Sauce  $12
  • Double Seitan Steak & Cheddar & Fries with your choice of Horse or RB’s Sauce $12
  • Double Seitan Steak & Fake Cheddar & Fries with your choice of Horse or RB’s Sauce $12
  • Jon-mocha Shake: Pint of Van Gogh Espresso Vodka, Godiva chocolate liqueur, OatMilk, shaved ice $12 (vegan)
  • PBT Milk Shake: Pint of peanut butter tequila as a milk shake $15 (vegan)

Each sandwich comes with a Nihilist Arby's logo and an (un)inspirational tweet from Nihilist Arby's. And homemade RB's (Arby's) or Horse (Horsey) sauce.

Nihilist Arby's launches at 11 a.m. Sept. 25. The Northside Yacht Club is located at 4231 Spring Grove Ave.

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