Friday, February 13, 2009

Food news: Goodbye Gordon, hello Hooters


After less than a year and a half of operation, Maze Prague by Gordon Ramsay will be changing hands. The news was confirmed by Ramsay's Czech PR rep, Michaela Dvořáková, who says that although the restaurant will keep its name (for now), Maze will be run by the Hilton Prague Old Town management and Gordon Ramsay Holdings will just "participate in the creation of the menu." Head chef Philip Carmichael is rumored to have already left Prague for his native U.K.

Maze Prague is only one of several restaurants in the Gordon Ramsay empire said to be struggling. Still, Ramsay's departure from the Czech market may discourage foreign restaurateurs, few of whom will realize that local patrons weren't Maze's problem -- its location was. Put your restaurant in a windowless box in the lobby of a hotel on the fringes of Old Town (in one of the world's most view-worthy cities, no less) and you are bound to fail, no matter how good your food is.

I sure will miss their chocolate fondant.

Meanwhile, Angus Burger and Angus Grill in Palladium and Cremeria Milano on Pařížská have closed, and Sapori Italiani, the Italian-goods specialty shop formerly located on Perlova, is moving to Bělohorská in Prague 6.

And in food-unrelated restaurant news, the sports bar/breast-ogling American chain Hooters will debut in Prague late in 2009. Franchise holder Na Zdravi Ventures is planning to open several Hooters restaurants in the Czech and Slovak Republics over the next few years. Na Zdravi CEO J. Steven Parker says, "The time is right for the introduction of the Hooters brand."

I hate to admit it, but he might be onto something.

images: gordonramsay.com, saporiitaliani.cz, hooters.com

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hooters has decent wings. Not great, but decent. However, in a city where good wings are hard to find, this is going to be a very welcome news.

Laura Baranik said...

Hm. So maybe the Hooters news wasn't food-unrelated after all...

Anonymous said...

In a town full of bad wings, decent wings become great.

R. said...

Fucking Ramsey. Now where will I get my rice pudding?!

blog said...

I'll be interested to see if the Hooters "concept" will work here in Prague. In the American midwest, where I'm from, Hooters is considered somewhat risqué, but I'm not sure that will be the case in Prague.

Mark said...

Hooters is a mindless concept that won't succeed here unless the food is decent ...