Tragedy has come to Flavor Town. After five years of enchanting tourists with “Pulled Pork Slyders” and “Guy-talian Nachos,” Guy Fieri’s Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square has shut its doors for good.
Fieri — the bleach-haired, backward visor-wearing chef best known as the host of the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives — offered no reason for the restaurant’s closure, saying only in a statement that he was proud of the restaurant’s serving millions of patrons.
Back when the restaurant first opened in 2012, it received a rare zero star rating in the New York Times, which accompanied a scathing review. Some notable excerpts:
“Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex? When you saw the burger described as “Guy’s Pat LaFrieda custom blend, all-natural Creekstone Farm Black Angus beef patty, LTOP (lettuce, tomato, onion + pickle), SMC (super-melty-cheese) and a slathering of Donkey Sauce on garlic-buttered brioche,” did your mind touch the void for a minute?”
“What exactly about a small salad with four or five miniature croutons makes Guy’s Famous Big Bite Caesar (a) big (b) famous or (c) Guy’s, in any meaningful sense?”
“When you have a second, Mr. Fieri, would you see what happened to the black bean and roasted squash soup we ordered?”
“What is going on at this new restaurant of yours, really?”
If Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar failed in terms of what it means to be a “restaurant” that provides “food” for people to “eat,” then perhaps it succeeded as a temporary immersive art installation: an abstract reflection on excessive consumerism and the fried-and-sugar-coated cocoons in which we numb and insulate ourselves from the horrors of reality. Guy’s Kitchen was American, truly; perhaps the most accurate reflection of our nation was in the mirror of the grease-shine at the bottom of a plate of Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders.
Good night, sweet Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar. And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest! May your name be echoed through the halls of Valhalla and Flavor Town for all eternity.