Guy Fieri’s American Bar and Kitchen got terrible reviews when it opened. Absolutely terrible. Enough to demoralize the always-optimistic Fieri. Horrific pans, disparaging columns about the food, and some that went so far as to call the restaurant a “culinary hell.” With feedback like that, it’s a wonder the restaurant has gotten even a few customers in its first few months of existence. Usually with reviews as awful as what American Bar and Kitchen was pegged with, eateries don’t last too long. Especially when they are based in New York City, a place with more than enough quality options that patrons aren’t forced to frequent truly bad chain restaurants.
Except, miraculously, Guy’s latest endeavor isn’t failing harder than a Dasani vending machine in a Poland Spring factory. It’s making money! Not even on a “barely enough to sustain itself level” but more of a “holy wow how is it doing that well” level. According to Eater, Guy’s American Bar and Kitchen made $17 million in 2015. Seventeen million dollars! That’s good enough to be one of the top 100 independent restaurants in the country. Apparently, being based in Times Square means that no matter how terrible the food and atmosphere, as long as there is an overwhelming amount of bad decor and poor service, everything will be fine. Remember that lesson when you decide to get into the culinary business, aspiring chefs. If you are a talented chef who opens a great restaurant that is beloved by critics, there’s still a chance that you could be out-grossed and out-attended by one of Guy Fieri’s tchotchke-fests. Inspiring!