DK Wings, celebrity chef Douglas Keane’s concept chicken wings eatery that was a gourmet keynote of the Graton Resort & Casino food court, closed Tuesday barely two months after opening.
The restaurant was securely boarded up Wednesday and workers were preparing to remove its sign.
“It just wasn’t there,” said an employee at a neighboring food vendor, referring to customer traffic at Keane’s eatery, one of eight in what is called the Marketplace.
Keane did not return several telephone calls seeking comment.
Officials with Station Casinos, which manages the 3,000-slot machine gambling hall just outside Rohnert Park, declined an interview but issued a statement.
“DK Wings has closed at Graton Resort & Casino and will be replaced shortly with a new dining offering inside Marketplace,” the statement said.
“We are grateful to Chef Doug Keane and his team for the work done to launch Graton Resort & Casino along with his brand. We wish Chef Keane all the very best as he takes on new endeavors,” it said.
Keane was previously a partner and chef at the county’s most decorated restaurant, Cyrus. The Healdsburg restaurant garnered two Michelin stars before shutting in 2012 following a legal fight over its lease. Last year, Keane said he chose to open his new restaurant in the casino over sites offered in Napa Valley and Las Vegas.
“I think it’s going to be huge,” he said in July, when the restaurant choices were made public. Keane said he sold more than 18,000 wings over the casino’s first weekend.
Other restaurateurs in the casino, which opened Nov. 5 to massive crowds and is owned by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, said they were still doing well, if hoping for yet more business.
“We’re meeting our expectations there,” said David Dodson, partner at M.Y. China, a high-end Chinese restaurant that is one of four free-standing eating establishments in the casino.
“It’s turned out to be a good project for us. It takes time for people to get in there and get to know it and we are really looking forward to growing the business,” he said.
Ivan Reyes, whose family runs La Fondita, a Mexican restaurant in the Marketplace, said, “It’s everything we expected and more. The results have been phenomenal.”
He added: “In the beginning there was chaos and excitement, it was a little slow before the holidays, but now it’s picking up again. And hopefully we get a little back up like it was in the beginning.”
Thousands flooded the casino, the Bay Area’s largest, when it opened and in its first few days. That stream of customers appears to have settled down to a calmer pace, though employees say weekends are very busy.