It’s official: Guy Fieri — shock top, blond Food Network host Guy Fieri — is opening a restaurant in Atlantic City.
Guy Fieri’s Chophouse will open this summer at Bally’s, taking the spot that was once The Reserve plus the casino’s former poker room space (Bally’s new poker space is World Series of Poker branded. Fieri’s restaurant, like The Reserve, will be a steakhouse, though the concept is less traditional and more “simple with a twist,” according to the announcement.
I know people don’t like Fieri, but he’s not the worst thing that could come to Atlantic City.
Even Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Complex has been a much-needed infusion of something different at Resorts. My step-mother says that the coffee at their café is some of the best she’s ever had — and she knows her coffee.
At least Fieri has a decent sense of humor about himself. He’s no stranger to the area, either. He’s appeared at the Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival a few times (that festival is owned by Caesars, which also owns Bally’s — synergy!) and when he did an episode of his Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives about the Jersey Shore, he highlighted George’s Place in Cape May. That’s a solid choice, especially when most national food shows do a Jersey Shore episode, they default to places closer to New York City.
And had you ever been to The Reserve? It was like a lot of old Atlantic City steakhouses, serving steak and seafood and full of high rollers who aren’t paying for that food anyway.
The restaurant’s official opening date is TBD according to a Caesar’s spokesperson, though they’ve released a few items that will be on the menu, including the tame — for Fieri anyway — Jersey Clams Casino, Jersey Tomato Salad, and Cape May Fried Flounder.
I have a few suggestions. How about a Nucky Knuckle Sandwich, the big boss of boardwalk sandwiches with sauce from Guy’s BBQ Krew? Or the Diving Horse Delish, a dish of dippers you can’t help but devour? Or The Miss-O-Murica Steak, the prettiest top grade meat you can find on your way to Flavortown?
Yes, bashing Guy Fieri restaurants has become a restaurant critic sport, but he’s still willing to take a chance on a struggling Atlantic City. Given that it’s taking over the former steakhouse and the former poker room, it’s going to be huge. He’s a brand name. People still seek out his food — and are willing to pay cash for it.
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