Traditional bastions of fine dining like Masa's and Tommy Toy's have been falling under the axe for the past couple of years, but even by that standard, Hubert Keller's Fleur de Lys seemed relatively solid thanks to its owner's high profile on Top Chef and PBS' Secrets of a Chef, as well as his popular mini-chain of Burger Bar restaurants in SF, Las Vegas, and China. Sadly, that isn't the case. As Inside Scoop reports, the restaurant, where Keller has been a chef-partner since 1986, will shut down on June 28th. "We have decided it's time to turn a page in our lives and close Fleur de Lys for good," said Keller in a statement on Fleur de Lys' website.
Part of the reason why Keller may have decided to close Fleur de Lys is that Maurice Rouas, the original owner and front-of-house leader who opened it in 1970, passed away in 2012. A lack of consideration from Bauer probably also didn't help matters: after years of four-star status, he downgraded it in 2007 for overly casual service and a lack of seasonality in the ingredients (asparagus in October being a main issue), then never reviewed it again. The restaurant had a Michelin star until 2012, getting dropped for what the company's editor-in-chief described as "suffering from inconsistency over multiple years."
In terms of historical impact, Fleur de Lys was one of the first chef-driven restaurants, and was considered for many years to be among the top fine-dining spots in the country. It was a favorite for romantic dinners and especially marriage proposals, and Keller also was one of the first chefs to offer an all-vegetarian tasting menu. A Fleur de Lys spinoff in Vegas closed in 2010, but remains open under Keller as a more casual concept called Fleur.
Here's the restaurant's full statement on the closure:
All of us here at Fleur de Lys want to give our most sincere gratitude to all our loyal customers who have shared with us an amazing 28-year journey. We have decided it's time to turn a page in our lives and close Fleur de Lys for good. Our final business day will be Saturday June 28th, 2014. It has been a very difficult and emotional decision and we are very sad to say goodbye. Please come see us during the month of June to get a few last Fleur de Lys experiences, share stories, and say goodbye. Call for reservations here at 415-673-7779.
Avec les meilleurs souvenirs,
The Fleur de Lys Family
No word on what might be next for the space, or whether Keller's holding on to it. On the upside, at least this gives him more time for his burgeoning DJ career.