She’s back, y’all. Or at least, Paula Deen is back in the food business for the first time since the scandal over her admitted past use of racial slurs that stripped her of most of her lucrative business deals. And she’s not slipping in through the kitchen door quietly. Unless a $20 million restaurant is the definition of “quiet.”
No, instead Deen is re-entering the food foray with a new Tennessee restaurant that has a pretty hefty operating budget, reports CNNMoney, after snapping up about $75 to $100 million in funding from investors for her new company, Paula Deen Ventures.
The new eatery and retail store (because you can’t just eat Paula Deen food, you’ve gotta wear her branded merchandise while doing so ) will open this summer in the shadow of the Smoky Mountains, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
The 20,000 square foot comeback vessel will be called Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen and is slated to open up a shopping mecca in the town near Gatlinburg. It’s also a hop, skip and a jump away from Dolly Parton’s Dollywood, so maybe Deen is hoping to channel some of Dolly’s mojo to bring customers back into her buttery arms.
You can follow MBQ on Twitter in case she ever visits Dollywood: @marybethquirk