When New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells eviscerated celebrity chef Guy Fieri’s new restaurant near Times Square
, it didn’t seem to hurt business. In fact, although critics were generally unkind across the board, Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar has been hopping.
As a Bloomberg Businessweek
article confirmed on Monday, if anything, Wells’ review in particular seems to be drawing more customers to the restaurant. And not because customers necessarily want to know if the restaurant is any good. Diners from around New York City are flocking there because it’s supposed to be bad.
Fieri, best known for his “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” show on Food Network, is no stranger to the restaurant business. He must be thrilled by the irony of it.
“Seventy percent of people who visit Times Square are from outside the tri-state area, according to neighborhood group Times Square Alliance. Tourists overwhelmingly populate the neighborhood’s hundreds of franchise restaurants — places most locals avoid like an overly commercialized, mass-marketed plague,” says the Bloomberg piece. “But surprisingly, they’ve been testing Fieri’s greasy restaurant to see just how bad it is.”
The headline of the Businessweek piece, particularly the “Ironic Dining” part, points to the maddening, self-reflexive trend of doing things because they are funny, or because they are not supposed to be fun.
Is this real? Am I supposed to like this? Do I like this because I’m not supposed to like it? Where is the moral center to guide us to proper evaluations of the things in our lives?
Examples of ironic behavior outside of dining at Fieri’s restaurant include knitting or learning the trombone, according to a New York Times guide called “How to Live Without Irony.”
at The Atlantic Wire came up with a comprehensive (probably ironic?) guide to eating ironically. Some of her key points include having preconceived opinions, making sure to consider a “costume,” and never surrendering to deliciousness.
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