After 10 years, beleaguered ex-Food Network star Paula Deen and her team have suddenly shuttered Uncle Bubba’s Seafood & Oyster House in Savannah, Georgia. TMZ reports that employees showed up to work this morning only to find the restaurant closed and its appliances being removed.
On the Uncle Bubba’s Facebook page the company simply writes: “Thank you for 10 great years. Uncle Bubba’s is now closed.” Paula Deen’s racism scandal kicked off at Uncle Bubba’s.
Many angry commenters turned to said Facebook page, which has since been taken down, to vent: “I’ve been water works all a.m.,” wrote one poster, who said she’d been employed there for seven years. “I’ve worked there since I was 16. I woke up this a.m. to no job and no forewarning.”
This isn’t the first time Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House has been the site of anger and controversy. Last year, Deen was slapped with a racial discrimination law suit from a former employee of the restaurant. While the lawsuit was eventually dismissed, the deposition from the case revealed some highly unsavory details about Deen, who admitted that “of course” she’d used the N-word, and described her desire to throw a wedding reception staffed entirely by middle-aged black men in white jackets so it could be reminiscent of the time before, you know, slavery was outlawed.
Check out the statement on the Uncle Bubba’s closure below:
“Since its opening in 2004, Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House has been a destination for residents and tourists in Savannah, offering the region’s freshest seafood and oysters. However, the 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.”