Paula Deen has closed Uncle Bubba's Seafood & Oyster House restaurant in Georgia. TMZ reports on April 3 that employees did not get any type of warning and showed up to work to discover the restaurant was being dismantled. Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, have not issued public statements about the sudden shut down.
Employees who arrived at the Savannah restaurant in the morning immediately noticed something was wrong. Police cars were in the area to help escort employees, and they saw appliances being removed from the interior. The restaurant has been permanently shut down, but the workers will receive severance.
Uncle Bubba's Seafood & Oyster House restaurant was involved in a controversy after employee Lisa Jackson accused Deen of racism and claimed Hiers had sexually harassed her. Although Jackson did not win her lawsuit, Deen’s cooking empire suffered greatly, and she lost multiple sponsorships.
The Georgia restaurant employees claim they received no notification about the sudden closure, and they are furious. The official website does not provide any insight, but employees are sharing their anger on the official Facebook page. Many of them worked at the restaurant for years and had no warning about losing their jobs.
An official statement from Jaret Keller, who is a Deen spokesperson, reveals that Hiers is considering development possibilities for the property, and the 2.7 acres may be attractive to investors. After 10 years, the restaurant promises to help employees find other positions and will provide them with severance.