"My whole career is based on the existence and the success of Mesa Grill. And all of a sudden it’s not there anymore"
-Bobby Flay, New York Times
January 17, 1991 was the day the first Gulf war began in earnest; we bombed Iraq in Operation Desert Storm and that night Mesa Grill opened its doors for the first time.
And in a remarkable bookend deja vu, Mesa Grill closed on September 3, 2013, the day when were were considering how to bomb Syria. It is remarkable that Mesa Grill was so good for so long, less so that we are reliving our political past.
When Mesa Grill opened, Bobby Flay was barely known; he had finished his gig at Miracle Grill to open Mesa with Jerry Kretchmer and Jeff Bliss (of Gotham Bar and Grill provenance). Today, and for quite a while now, there is hardly a more famous chef. He deserves the fame, and with his partner Laurence Kretchmer (another deja vu) rules over a food empire.
A restaurant that lasts decades (and could have lasted longer with a better lease renewal) is a rare and beautiful thing in New York. We congratulate Mesa Grill on its amazing run, and we miss it already. Luckily we still have Bobby Flay to remind us how great it was.
“I was looking back at the restaurant, and my daughter could see that I was getting very emotional,” he recalled of leaving his last supper there, in August. “She was like, ‘Dad, you can cry, it’s O.K.,’ and I just bawled. Dude, it was my youth. It was my whole life."
You're welcome, dude.