Photo by Ethan Miller via Getty Images

Turns out the first son-in-law’s former company was Guy Fieri’s landlord

Tim Nelson
January 29, 2018

Despite being the butt of an epic Pete Wells burn in the New York Times, Guy’s American Kitchen posted some of the biggest annual sales figures of any restaurant in the country. Which is why it came as such a shock that the Times Square outpost of frosted-tipped flavor impresario Guy Fieri closed its doors with little warning on New Year’s Eve. Now, new details have emerged that point a donkey-sauce stained finger at one of the many shadowy figures currently wandering the halls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 

As it turns out, the rent at 220 W. 44th St. was too damn high, thanks in part to Guy Fieri’s landlord Jared Kushner. Kushner Companies owns the 16,000 square feet of street level and below-ground space that Guy’s American occupied at. An anonymous source with knowledge of the landlord-tenant relationship suggested to The Washington Post that the restaurant’s annual rent was likely in the neighborhood of $1.8 million. 

Most restaurateurs loathe to commit more than six or seven percent of their gross revenue to rent, which would’ve required revenues north of $30 million, a milestone that only six independently-owned restaurants in the country reached last year. Even with $17 million in sales in 2017, Guy’s American would’ve had to sell almost one million more orders of Buffalo Bleu-Sabi chicken wings each year to hit that benchmark. 

As much as liberal-leaning Fiericon participants might want to march on Washington in protest, the decision was more business than personal. “I know it was an amicable split,” said Kushner Companies spokeswoman Christine Taylor told the Post. “From what I understand, it wasn’t the right concept for that space in the long run… I think [Fieri] appeals to a more Midwestern aesthetic than a New York [one],” she said, unable to resist the temptation to throw some subtle shade.  

People in glass midtown skyscrapers shouldn’t throw Motley ‘Que Ribs, however, as it sounds like Kushner Companies is having its own troubles covering interest payments on its property at 666 5th Avenue. Maybe in an effort to cover those costs, an anonymous New York real estate broker suggests that the next tenant of the former Guy’s American space will pay around $2.5 million annually. Meanwhile, rent in the mythical land of Flavortown is free. Just saying. 

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