Chef Hubert Keller, whose romantic French restaurant Fleur de Lys has been serving escargot on Nob Hill for 44 years — 28 of those with him in the kitchen — has decided to close his flagship. As the staff announces via the restaurant's website, "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."

They add, "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."

As Inside Scoop notes, the restaurant was opened in 1970 by restaurateur Maurice Rouas, and in 1986 it became one of America's first chef-driven restaurants when he hired the Alsatian-born Keller. Rouas, who for years was the face of Fleur de Lys's front of house, died in 2012, and that may have contributed to Keller's decision to close.

But no doubt the sense that the restaurant's shimmer was dulling was a factor as well. It lost its Michelin star in 2012 over a lack of consistency in the food, and this unfortunately happened not long after Keller drew some national attention by appearing on the first season of Top Chef Masters in 2009 and being one of the final three chefs in the competition. Michael Bauer also downgraded the restaurant from it's previously held 4 stars in 2007.

In any event, you've got three weeks to go check it out if you never did, or to go say goodbye. There's no word yet on who might want to make over this storied — and heavily draped — space.

[Inside Scoop]
[Fleur de Lys]