Out Of Guy Fieri's Restaurants, This One Was The Biggest Flop

Times Square is known for many things, but buzz and excitement often lead the list. Chef, TV personality, and restaurateur Guy Fieri shares those appeals, so it only seemed natural that he brought "Flavortown" to the Big Apple. The towering 500-seat restaurant, Guy's American Kitchen and Bar, opened in 2012 and managed to keep its doors swinging until the end of 2017, per The Washington Post. Much like the other eateries crammed in the vibrantly lit streets of Times Square, novelty is the main attraction. While the restaurant somehow had a steady enough clientele to keep it afloat for years, it flopped in the sense that the public was far from fans. People almost enjoyed trash-talking the restaurant more than they actually disliked their experience there.

Naturally, tourists will flock to Times Square to marvel at the city's iconic structures and attractions from the Empire State Building to the Top of the Rock, and Fieri hoped his Donkey Sauce would reel patrons in after a busy day of sightseeing. He wasn't entirely wrong, yet becoming the talk of the town is more exciting when the reviews are positive. It seems the general consensus from first-time patrons at Guy's NYC joint was that curiosity won when choosing a lunch spot, but there wouldn't be a second visit. Fieri boasts cheap, hole-in-the-wall eateries on his Food Network show "Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives," yet would dish out $20 sandwiches that didn't even wow customers.

A stinging critical review

New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells, who is known for his gut-wrenching words, bestowed Guy Fieri with a shocking zero-star reaction that has practically served as a benchmark for horrid critiques over the years. Through a series of questions, Wells ultimately asked Fieri what he was thinking when opening this restaurant. It was a jab at not only Fieri's new restaurant, but his entire brand. Fieri reacted with a shrug-like attitude on the Today show, sharing that Wells must have had ulterior motives when writing that scathing and personal review. Regardless of what drove the negative words, Guy's American Kitchen and Bar remained open for half a decade, so the stinging review wasn't the driving force of the public's distaste or the restaurant's ultimate demise.

Fieri is just as loyal to his fans as he is to his haircut, which may be why his NYC restaurant lasted as long as it did. Despite its over-the-top atmosphere, which one Yelp review described as "like a frat party at the lamest frat you've ever seen," the restaurant pulled in an estimated $17 million in 2017 (via Restaurant Business Online). Anyone who is familiar with Fieri knows he's all about frosted tips, goofy idioms, and big, greasy bites. As his show declares, he's not impressed by elegance, which explains his interest in a flashy Times Square location, but based on the public's steady bullying, the food just didn't meet the mark.