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Paula Deen's Georgia restaurant closes without a word to employees

Paula Deen, who was the center of controversy last year for using racial slurs, closed her Georgia restaurant, Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House. Radar Online, April 3, 2014 reports that the employees of the restaurant didn’t know about the closing until they read about it on Uncle Bubba’s Seafood and Oyster House Facebook page.

MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 23: Paula Deen attends Bank of America Lifestyle Seminar Fried & True: A Fried Chicken Seminar hosted by Lee Brian Schrager, Adeena Sussman and Mark Oldman during the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival at Ritz Carlton
Photo by John Parra

The message on the Facebook page said, “Thank you for 10 great years. Uncle Bubba’s is now closed.”

Several employees left a message below the announcement. No one knew that the place would suddenly close, and the now jobless employees are not happy about the way they found out.

According to the WSAV website, an off duty police officer has been seen outside the restaurant. SCMPD said that the officer was privately hired.

The Key Group, released an official statement. "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 Hiers, 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."

Apparently, it was business as usual at Uncle Bubba’s the day before. On the April 2, Uncle Bubba’s Facebook page, they posted the question, "Which one is your favorite stew at Uncle Bubba’s: Crab or Oyster." On April 1, they posted, "Our crab leg special is back y’all! Tuesday and Wednesday nights, one pound of fresh steamed crab legs for $16.99. People bought Groupons to use at the restaurant, but now the Groupons are worthless.

The restaurant was named after Paula’s brother, Bubba Hiers. He ran the restaurant and he was sued along with Paula in the racial lawsuit. Lisa Jackson filed charges against Paula and Bubba for racial slurs. Some staff members who worked at Uncle Bubba’s accused him of sexual harassment.

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