Guy Fieri’s massive New York restaurant will close at the end of the year — here’s what it’s like to eat there

This is Guy's Big Bite Burger and Rojo Ring.

This is Guy’s Big Bite Burger and Rojo Ring.

  • Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar in New York will serve its last meal on December 31.
  • The restaurant has become a cult favorite despite poor reviews of its food.
  • We visited when it opened in 2012 – here’s what it was like.

Guy Fieri, the host of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” has become one of the best-known food personalities – but on December 31, one major part of his empire will be no more.

According to Eater New York, Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar, in New York City’s Times Square, will close on New Year’s Eve.

The restaurant’s food has not been well-received over the years. In a zero-star review in 2012, The New York Times’ Pete Wells effectively destroyed the restaurant, comparing its Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders to “chewy air” and its watermelon margarita to “some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde.”

As Fieri’s first and only restaurant in New York, the place is decked out in everything Guy – everything on the menu is Guy Fieri-branded, the decor represents things he likes, and a gift shop features his merchandise.

And at 16,000 square feet and with 500 seats, the place is huge. It’s in the building that was The Times’ headquarters for nearly a century.

We visited the restaurant shortly after it opened in 2012 – here’s what it was like.

Kim Bhasin contributed reporting to an earlier version of this article.

Here we are at the three-floor complex in the former New York Times Building. It’s right next to Bowlmor Lanes and Discovery Times Square.

Kim Bhasin / Business Insider

And there’s Guy Fieri on a screen near the entrance, promoting his Food Network show.

Inside, the gift shop is packed with all sorts of Guy Fieri memorabilia.

One of the trio of bars up front had some activity, even though we went around 4 p.m.

Classic American brands were touted everywhere — like Jack Daniel’s …

… Budweiser (though yes, it’s owned by InBev, a Belgian company) …

… and, up top, Miller and Pabst.

The restaurant’s decor is personalized for Fieri — like this, a tattoo of his in memory of his sister.

American flags are everywhere.

Multiple shots of Fieri’s red 1968 Camaro SS are on the walls.

The restaurant features a big bar on the second floor, complete with branded glasses.

In the back is the Studio, filled with some tchotchkes and things Fieri likes …

… like guitars …

… Apple, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

There’s a huge chandelier outside the Studio, next to a giant American flag.

Time to head downstairs. This was where workers would load newspapers when The New York Times was here.

On the way down to the lowest level, you can take a peek into the kitchen, “floating” halfway down.

A cool wall is decorated with a ton of utensils.

The downstairs space is huge.

The 16,000-square-foot establishment can seat 500 people.

Where does this odd door lead to?

The rotisserie is downstairs. As you can see, it can cook 12 chickens at a time.

Though we’re in New York, a bunch of other cities are represented downstairs.

This is the media cage — a testament to all the screens, speakers, and other electronics dispersed throughout the restaurant.

At the bar, we met these three tourists who walked in when they saw the Guy Fieri sign. They’re from his hometown of Ferndale, California.

All right, enough looking around. Time to check out the Guy Fieri-branded menu.

As you open the menu, you’re immediately reminded that the chicken dinner has indeed been won.

This is Guy’s Big Bite Burger and Rojo Ring.

And here’s the Cedar Plank Salmon with jalapeno-apricot jam.

The bartender mixed some drinks for us …

… an El Azul Watermelon …

… and a Caliente Margarita.

If you’re not interested in cocktails, the American mainstays are always available …

… along with all the top-shelf essentials.

While getting ready to head out, we ran into Guy’s culinary team.

They were tasting a chicken dinner, of course.