Citizens of Flavortown are in mourning, Guy Fieri's Times Square restaurant, Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, is closing up shop.
Employees at the restaurant, Guy's American Kitchen & Bar, told Eater it will officially shut down on Dec. 31., five years after its initial opening. Since then, it's had one of the most wild roller coaster rides a business could hope for.
Fieri is best known as an over-the-top TV persona who travels to restaurants and highlights gluttonous meals. His show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is a staple of ironic television viewing. Many of Fieri's awkward on-screen moments have been spun into Internet memes, and his catch-phrase "Flavortown" has become a punch line in and of itself.
Guy's Kitchen & Bar won first prize at the 2013 Food & Wine festival burger bash. It appeared to do steady business at times with tourists and Food Network die-hards. Many reported that, despite the gaudiness of Fieri's public persona, the restaurant actually served good food.
There was even a bar crawl known as FieriCon, where fans would dress up in Fieri's signature bowling shirt and reflective wrap-around sunglasses, bleach and spike their hair, and roam midtown Manhattan in search of the fabled Flavortown. The event brought thousands of customers to Guy's as recently as last month.
Yet the restaurant had some low points as well. The New York Times published a devastating zero star review of the establishment in 2012 that was so cruel it went viral. "How, for example," wrote Pete Wells, "did Rhode Island's supremely unhealthy and awesomely good fried calamari — dressed with garlic butter and pickled hot peppers — end up in your restaurant as a plate of pale, unsalted squid rings next to a dish of sweet mayonnaise with a distant rumor of spice?”
Though the closing is a sad loss for Fieri fans — both legitimate and ironic — the man himself will be fine.