Paula Deen has seen her restaurant closed abruptly on Thursday, leaving employees and patrons to find out by way of a note posted to the entrance.
The restaurant, Uncle Bubba’s Seafood & Oyster House, was the center of the racial discrimination case brought against Deen and her brother. Employees were not notified before the Paula Deen restaurant closed, but instead were forced to find out they were out of a job by a sign posted on the door.
At first restaurant’s website offered few other clues, simply carrying the message: “Thank you for 10 great years. Uncle Bubba’s is now closed.”
Many people took to the restaurant’s Facebook page to vent their frustration with the abrupt closure.
“Regardless of WHY they closed, it was in very poor taste to handle it the way he did,” wrote one customer. “Anyone selling land or business knows its not legit if you just close doors without any notification, almost guaranteed its not ‘JUST’ to sell property…”
After the negative media attention, the company issued a more detailed explanation of why the Paula Deen restaurant closed. The notice said that the restaurant’s owner and operator, Bubba Heirs, looked at it simply as a business decision.
“[T[ restaurant’s owner and operator, Bubba Heirs, has made the decision to close the restaurant in order to explore development options for the waterfront property on which the restaurant is located. At this point, no specific plans have been announced and a range of uses are under consideration in order realize the highest and best use for the property.
“The closing is effective today, Thursday, April 3, 2014. Employees will be provided with severance based on position and tenure with the restaurant. All effort will be made to find employees comparable employment with other Savannah restaurant organizations.”
Though the Paula Deen restaurant is closed, the chef herself seems to be on the rebound. Earlier this year, her company Paula Deen Ventures announced that it received a cash infusion of between $75 million and $100 million from investment firm Najafi Companies.