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The Mayor of Flavortown Couldn’t Stay Away From Times Square

Guy Fieri returns to the neighborhood with a delivery-only ghost kitchen

Chef Guy Fieri wearing a dark short-sleeve shirt and smiling into the camera Photo by: NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

Much-maligned — yet wildly popular — chef Guy Fieri has returned to Times Square. The Mayor of Flavortown is back in business with a new ghost kitchen in Manhattan, called Flavortown Kitchen, located at 1540 Broadway, at the corner of West 45th Street and Seventh Avenue. The NYC burger-and-wings shop is one of dozens of Flavortown Kitchen shops that have recently opened up across the country, with other locations popping up in cities including Vegas, Dallas, Boston, and Washington, D.C.

Each identical menu showcases a colorful array of Fieri-branded creations including jalapeño pig poppers stuffed with andouille sausage and pimento cream cheese and wrapped in bacon; bourbon brown sugar barbecue wings; and S-M-Cheesesteak egg rolls. (For those unfamiliar with Fieri-speak, SMC stands for “Super Melty Cheese,” naturally.)

While Fieri’s name is heavily branded across Flavortown Kitchen, the actual operation is run by restaurateur Robert Earl and Virtual Dining Concepts, a company well-versed in using celebrity names to launch ghost kitchen projects. Virtual Dining Concepts is also behind rapper Tyga’s delivery-only chicken “bites” and Mariah Carey’s cookie delivery business, among other ventures, Eater Vegas reports.

It was not immediately clear when the NYC location first launched, but it’s currently accepting orders for delivery from 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Eater New York has reached out to Virtual Dining Concepts for more information on the restaurant.

The delivery-only kitchen marks a return to Times Square for Fieri, who previously operated a branch of one of his other restaurant brands, Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar, on West 44th Street. Early on in its tumultuous five-year run, the restaurant was the subject of a famously scathing 2012 review by New York Times critic Pete Wells in which he posed every sentence as a grimacing, painful question. (“Is the shapeless, structureless baked alaska that droops and slumps and collapses while you eat it, or don’t eat it, supposed to be a representation in sugar and eggs of the experience of going insane?” Wells wrote. ) The restaurant eventually closed on December 31, 2017.

Aside from the Flavortown Kitchen venture, Fieri runs a sprawling restaurant empire composed of 14 brands, including Chicken Guy! and Guy’s Burger Joint. On television, Fieri is in his 34th season of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on the Food Network, and also runs the cooking-focused spin-off Guy’s Grocery Games. During the pandemic, Fieri has been busy advocating for restaurant industry relief, and was involved in feeding first responders battling the wildfires in California last fall.