Guy Fieri’s New York Restaurant Failed So Hard That His PR Firm Urged Him to Apologize to the Public
Guy Fieri’s New York restaurant, Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar, has recently closed. With an opening so bad that Fieri’s PR team wanted him to apologize to the public, it’s easy to imagine why the venture was so short-lived. Read on to learn about the history of Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar, and how it received one of the worst restaurant reviews ever written.
1. The beginning
Fieri opened Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar in New York City back in 2012. This was by no means Fieri’s first attempt at opening a restaurant (he had previously successfully opened several locations of Johnny Garlic’s, a California pasta grill), but this was his first time taking a stab at a New York restaurant.
Next: This famous chef warned Fieri about opening in New York
2. He had been warned
Prior to opening Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar, chef Emeril Lagasse warned Fieri about the competitive nature of New York dining. “His main concern was that Fieri didn’t have a trusted team, like Bobby Flay and Mario Batali,” says The Daily Meal. Despite his colleague’s warning, he went ahead with the restaurant.
Next: Forbes called the NYT review the restaurant received the most scathing review in the history of the Times.
3. The most scathing review in the history of the New York Times
Upon opening Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar, Fieri received some horrific reviews, particularly from New York Times writer Pete Wells. Forbes writer Larry Olmsted called the review “the single most scathing I can recall in my 30+ years of reading the Times.”
“I loved reading it, not because I have anything against Fieri, but because it was very well written and hilarious,” said Olmsted.
Next: The review itself is pretty funny.
4. The review
The New York Times infamous review put Wells on the map in terms of food critique (Fieri’s fame helped with that). Olmsted is right, though uncharitable and unapologetic, it’s pretty funny. It’s posed as a letter to Fieri himself, asking such questions as “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?” and “Is this how you roll in Flavor Town?”
Next: Fieri’s PR team wanted him to make an embarrassing move.
5. Fieri’s PR team
Unsurprisingly, Fieri was upset over the reviews (it wasn’t just Wells who didn’t like the food). According to The Daily Meal, his PR team wanted him to apologize for the poor quality of the food and even shut down until all the issues could be resolved. He didn’t. Instead, he argued that everyone reviewed him too close to the restaurant’s opening.
Next: Here’s what other chefs thought
6. Other chefs weighed in
Though some Food Network chefs defended Fieri after the infamous review went live, others declined to comment or stayed neutral, the general consensus seemed to be “I’m just glad it wasn’t me.”
“I’m not going to lie, I was like thank God it’s not me. They were going right down the line and ripping,” said chef Paul Malvone.
Next: After five years, Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar is closed.
7. Today, the restaurant’s closed
After five years of being in business, and after one of the rockiest starts in restaurant history, Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar closed on December 31, 2017.
“There were both very high highs and very low lows for Guy’s throughout the years — most famously when Fieri took home the top prize at the 2013 Food & Wine festival burger bash and most infamously when Times critic Pete Wells positively skewered the restaurant in an unprecedently scathing zero-star review,” said Eater New York. Fieri has not given a reason for the restaurant’s closing, only that he is proud to have served the people who came there to eat.
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