Updated January 7, 2021 - 3:39 pm
Celebrity chef Hubert Keller is severing his ties with his two local restaurants: Fleur by Hubert Keller in Mandalay Bay and Mandalay Place’s Burger Bar. Both of the restaurants are temporarily closed as a result of COVID-19. Their teams were informed of Keller’s departure on Wednesday, according to a spokeswoman for MGM Resorts International.
A statement from the company reads, in part, “After a 16-year-run as one of Las Vegas’ most popular burger destinations, Burger Bar at The Shoppes at Mandalay Place will not re-open under the direction of Hubert Keller. MGM Resorts hopes to reopen Burger Bar in the future with a new hospitality partner. Fleur by Hubert Keller, a restaurant known for its regional and seasonally driven French cuisine, will transition to be owned and operated by MGM Resorts. Details around its reopening schedule will be shared in the months ahead and MGM Resorts looks forward to continuing to create special dining experiences for its visitors from around the world.”
It goes on to quote Emmanuel Cornet, Mandalay Bay’s vice president of food and beverage, as saying, “Hubert has consistently delivered exceptional hospitality at his restaurants and we are so grateful for his passion and dedication in bringing first-class dining experiences to our guests.”
Keller, who was raised in Alsace, France, trained in the kitchens of legendary chefs Paul Haeberlin, Gaston Lenotre, Paul Bocuse and Roger Vergé in France and South America. In 1982, Keller moved to San Francisco to open Sutter 500 for Vergé. Four years later, he became a partner in San Francisco’s Fleur de Lys.
In 2004, casino executive William Richardson convinced Keller to not only bring Fleur de Lys to Mandalay Bay, but to create a burger concept for the shopping promenade connecting that resort to Luxor. Burger Bar went on to inspire a generation of high-profile, chef-driven burger restaurants. Fleur de Lys later was converted to the less-formal Fleur.
The chef has long called Las Vegas home. The most recent season of his PBS series, “Hubert Keller: Secrets of a Chef,” was subtitled #LovinLasVegas, and featured Keller with various local chefs (as well as this author), visiting local restaurants on and off the Strip.
Keller did not immediately return a request for comment. He is quoted in the MGM Resorts statement as saying, “It has been a fun and rewarding journey working with the Mandalay Bay team and my restaurant staff throughout the years — I have many happy memories that I will treasure. Wishing everyone success as we all move on to our next chapter.”