Flavortown is closing down.
Guy Fieri’s Times Square restaurant, which food critics loved to hate, has gone out of business.
“Over the last five and a half years, I’m proud that Guy’s American [Kitchen & Bar] in New York City served millions of happy guests from all over the world,” Guy Fieri said in a statement provided by a spokeswoman. “Thank you to all the team members and guests who helped make this dream a reality for me.”
The restaurant opened in 2012 to merciless reviews.
“Mr. Fieri not only serves truly horrible-tasting food, an awkward origami of clashing aleatory flavors, but he serves this punishing food emulsified with a bombastic recasting of deep-fried American myth,” wrote The New York Observer’s Joshua David Stein, who first slammed the food as “horrible” and Fieri himself as “reprehensible.”
Then the New York Times mocked its “inedible” menu items with questionable names like Donkey Sauce.
“And when we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?” mused the Times’ Pete Wells, in what is considered perhaps the most scathing restaurant review ever published by the paper of record.
Fieri has also been criticized by other restaurateurs, including CNN host Anthony Bourdain, who told AdWeek in 2016, “I would greatly prefer not have a Guy Fieri restaurant in Times Square. It hurts me. It offends me. But somebody clearly loves it.”
Guy’s actually lasted a bit longer than most restaurants. According to research conducted in 2014 by a University of Berkeley statistics expert, the average lifespan for a restaurant is 4.5 years, with 17% failing just in the first year.
Fieri, a spiky-haired, tattooed star from the Food Network, presents himself as a champion of American cuisine through a show called “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” where he celebrates his penchant for spicy fried food and BBQ.
While the Times Square location is closing, there are plenty of other restaurants with Fieri’s name on them.
His website lists 18 eateries under his brand.