It was only last year that Gordon Ramsay’s first Australian restaurants maze and maze Grill opened at Crown Metropol to much hype and fanfare. But less than 18 months later, both maze ventures are set to close. Crown has released a statement expressing their “disappointment” at the news, but mentioned that the wider business will continue to operate, saying that it “is not only sustainable but will continue to be popular and highly successful”, though evidence suggests otherwise.
Despite maze never really receiving the accolades of Gordon Ramsay’s other international venues, there is an interesting point to be made here, in that perhaps it was not Ramsay’s celebrity status – or abrasive ways – that let him down this time.
Ramsay himself is not the director of either restaurants at the Crown Metropol and therefore will not be personally responsible for any losses. The outspoken chef has previously cut loose other maze restaurants in Prague and Cape Town with ratings slumping dramatically, even at the original (previously three Michelin star) London restaurant, in recent years.
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This is not to say maze could not have worked here in Melbourne, the receptive audience that we are. Perhaps the location, the execution and the already vibrant (and busy) local culinary scene were competing factors in maze’s downfall this time. Or maybe, it just didn’t cut the mustard.