We have balm On Sunday morning in East Rutherford, New Jersey, a miracle is happening: a shopping mall is completely full. Thousands of men, women and children have flocked to the grand opening of the MrBeast Burger restaurant and are now clogging the gallery’s arteries, frantic for a chance to see a man who says he wants to change the world. The 3-million-square-foot expansion is welcoming them into the space, allowing kids and teens to barricade themselves among massive indoor attractions, including Legoland, roller coasters, a water park and a year-round ski slope. . This isn’t just a mall, and it’s not just a restaurant opening: it’s a collaboration between one of the country’s largest retail spaces and a massive Internet star — and it’s bringing out the worst in everyone.
Last week, just days before the opening, MrBeast announced the launch on his Twitter account and YouTube channel. “I’ll be working at the restaurant all day the first day and if you stop by you can see me,” he tweeted in a message to his 15.3 million followers.
“I didn’t think it would be anything like this,” says a security guard RollingStone. What started as 3,000 fans waiting in line early Saturday morning has now grown to at least 10,000, filling the aisles and completely blocking some open storefronts. “This better be a good burger.”
With over 100 million subscribers on his main channel alone, MrBeast is famous for his big cash prize videos, which rely on volunteers willing to take part in grueling competitions for a chance at life-changing sums. (He has a strong charitable side, which is best displayed in the videos of Beast Philanthropy, a nonprofit and charity-themed channel that focuses on giving to those in need, such as Ukrainian refugees or underfunded American schools.) Search In the video released on Saturday, the day before the event, he gives 100 of his subscribers $10,000 each and then spends a night hunting them down at the mall. The 23 who stay hidden until morning are allowed to keep their prizes. A mother breaks down in tears after winning. “My kids are going to have a real vacation,” she says.
On Sunday, the scene is radically different: there are people everywhere. There are parents and grandparents and older siblings and dogs and mall workers and people celebrating their twenty-first birthdays, mingling with sleepy teenagers and toddlers desperately trying to get out of plastic shopping carts trading with built-in tablets. Lines big and small stretch nearly every inch of the east side of the mall, making it impossible to tell where anything starts or ends.
It’s constant, complete chaos. The energy fluctuates widely between stagnation and pure adrenaline. People must have an official yellow wristband to join the line that ends at the burger counter, but an influx of new guests has infiltrated the overnighters. People run so others don’t cut them in line, no one knows what’s going on. (I’m not immune to disorder: my media badge has a MrBeast Burger logo on it and I’m constantly approached and followed by kids and parents asking me to take their pictures or asking if I’m the one to let them through line and meet their hero.)
The restaurant itself is set to launch its own YouTube channel. A glass bin on the display wall displays thousands of crumpled banknotes, while the rest of the set highlights props and pieces from his biggest videos. In a white-walled corridor, employees sitting on steps are writing down the names of each person who orders a burger. But very few people spoke to him RollingStone he seemed focused on the burger. Instead, most of them are obsessed with MrBeast’s association with money – and many arrived with signs asking for money or begging to be a part of one of his races. People in the crowd chat about the possibility that the whole event is another donation stunt for his channel. Their excitement to meet their hero seems entirely wrapped up in the possibility that the meeting could change their lives.
Parents hold children aloft as cameras roll or encourage children to hold handmade signs high above the crowd. “Let them take a picture of your sign, kid,” says one mother, encouraging her son to take off his mask so the camera can see his face. On the ground, a child sits next to a sign that reads “MrBeast is the American Dream.”
Near one of the rows, teenagers are shouting and arguing over the circled pieces of noodles placed throughout the mall. They appear to be for some sort of contest and match a large red circle that has been placed on a stage, one of several in the center of the mall. Even after being told by the rope people that the officials will not choose the contestants in this way, the people refuse to abandon their posts.
A boy named Damon tells RollingStone that he is willing to take any money that MrBeast offers. “What have I got to lose?” he says. After another boy informs him that the others have left the noodle circles. “If I tell them I’m running for a food bank, they might take that more seriously,” he says. Later in the day, there is a competition on the main stage involving the districts and at least 10 volunteers. From the balcony, Damon is nowhere to be seen.
According to social media and fans, MrBeast has been at the mall since 8am on Sunday morning. He’s around the burger joint, but moving so fast, fans follow his path incredulously, as if he could disappear at any moment. He’s said he’ll take a photo with everyone who buys a burger, but he’s repeatedly getting pulled out of line and replaced with one of his Beast brothers, to the shock of the waiting crowd. Even when he’s there, he takes constant breaks, disappearing into the mall’s maze of back corridors, the smile falling from his face when the cameras roll.
A young YouTuber wearing a dress made of MrBeast candy wrappers is frustrated that his team doesn’t seem to be taking his request to meet him seriously. A girl is waiting to the side to film a video of MrBeast opening the gender reveal card. At one point in the day, he makes a TikTok with the corn kid, who was helpful enough to bring his cob. The man is physically surrounded, both by fans and by his team, who point several dozen cameras at him. Waiting fans, who have abandoned the line entirely, are now crowding most of the barricaded entrances and exits and calling out his name whenever they catch a glimpse of his face.
He looks shocked. On Twitter, MrBeast posts a video of himself greeting the crowd.
“I literally work in my studio all day and barely ever leave, so to see something like this is mind-blowing,” he writes.
A teenage girl walks past two security guards and runs right into the arms of MrBeast, who, though looking a little taken aback, tries to return the hug and force a smile before being pulled away by someone. His eyes are wide. She is crying.
Earlier this year, MrBeast said RollingStone that he and his team were working on building a Tyler Perry-type production center in his North Carolina hometown, likely for up-and-coming content creators who need the space for stunts and escapism. MrBeast. He disputed the idea that his videos encourage young children to focus on money, saying that his only desire was to influence his young fans to do good and make unconditional giving known. On social media, his bio revolves around his self-proclaimed goal of making the world a better place.
But walking through the crowded center – seeing the way kids are desperate to even get close to MrBeast and his crew, the way burgers are thrown whenever he’s spotted, the sheer amount of TikToks and vlogs and YouTube streams being shot, and six year olds almost wild for an amount of money they can’t yet count – it’s easy to wonder: Is this MrBeast’s best world?