Opened this month, Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar is a 16,000-square-foot restaurant in Times Square that sits 500 people and features three separate bars. As the name implies, the joint is owned by Food Network superstar (and national annoyance) Guy Fieri, co-owner of various other restaurants and one of the most popular hosts and personalities of the aforementioned food channel. There is no credit for the identity or interiors and this is for a stand-alone restaurant so it breaks a little bit with my publishing criteria but the project is worth a look.
It’s hard to say this, as I am not, at all, a fan of this man, but the logo is, well, not bad. I mean, yes, it’s gaudy and cheap but it’s a logo for a restaurant in Times Square owned by a guy with bleached hair who owns 120 pairs of sunglasses and flame-adorned bowling shirts. It’s American. It’s in your face. It’s the farthest thing from subtle. And the “Guy!” wordmark that accompanies all things Guy Fieri notwithstanding, the typography is quite decent. I actually admire the way the logo maintains its relative integrity as it goes from the more graphic execution shown at the top, to the faux-finished version after it, to the real-life interpretation on the front of the building that lures tourists in. It’s really not that bad at all.
Inside, as you can see in all the images that follow, the bombastic, manly, dude-ish, bro-ish, American Industrial chic decor is perfectly played throughout the restaurant. For what this is — more theater and commercial brand-building than anything else — this is an active, engaging space that delivers on its owner’s personality with Times Square-sized precision. Like it or not, this is expert branding, from exterior to interior and beyond.