Guy Fieri Closes Restaurant After Re-opening Only 3 Days Earlier
Celebrity chef Guy Fieri this week announced he’s closing his Oklahoma restaurant, Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar, only three days after re-opening it post-coronavirus (COVID-19) closures.
It’s a major setback for the restaurateur and television personality.
Fieri’s tireless work on behalf of restaurant workers during COVID
As COVID-19 was ramping up in the US, so much was unknown as to how the virus would impact food preparation – especially whether it was safe to order in from a restaurant or have food delivered. Restaurants were losing money rapidly, and closing entirely with the sudden collapse in revenue.
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), the National Restaurant Association’s fundraising branch, announced in March 2020 that a relief fund had been initiated. The fund, called “Restaurant Relief America,” provides individual $500 grants for dishwashers, servers, bartenders, chefs, and cooks.
By May 2020, Fieri had raised a staggering $20 million for restaurant worker relief, thanks to his relentless work on their behalf. Rob Gifford, the NRAEF’s president, expressed his gratitude to Fieri in a statement.
“During these challenging times, the NRAEF’s mission to support the industry’s workforce is more important than ever,” he said. “With Guy as our champion and the support of so many generous companies, we can help get our family of restaurant workers back on their feet.”
Fieri got actor Bill Murray to help restaurants out recently
Fieri and Murray engaged in a live-streamed Facebook event, “Nacho Average Showdown” in May 2020. Their goal: to raise money for the countless unemployed restaurant workers.
Murray, 69, was asked at the time by Jimmy Fallon about his nacho prowess.
“Well, I’ll be honest, Jimmy,” the actor said. “My son is really the cook in the family. I’m more the purveyor. I go shop. I’m in charge of paying for things. And he cooks. And I’m not in charge of dishes, either. So he’s in charge of finding someone to do the dishes. Whenever it comes to doing the cooking, I act like I’ve taken a bad fall.”
According to USA Today, the nacho smackdown raised an impressive $11K for restaurant workers during the hour-long event.
Fieri was forced to (temporarily) close one of his restaurants
Fieri had temporarily closed the Oklahoma location of his Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar – and all of his restaurants – as did so many others, in March 2020 in response to the pandemic.
He reopened the location on July 7, hoping to get to some semblance of normality for its workers, but by July 10 had to once again close due to an employee’s positive diagnosis with COVID-19. No official date has been announced for the restaurant to open once again.
Fieri had chosen this location for his restaurant, in the Choctaw Casino & Resorts in Durant, Oklahoma, thanks to the great time he and his crew had shooting Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives there.
“I’ve shot Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in Oklahoma and all over Texas and let me tell you, this part of the country knows good food,” he said. “And in Durant in particular, you’ve got some good folks looking for real deal, scratch-made food, great cocktails, and a big time party…and the Choctaw Casino & Resort brings the heat!”