Friday November 27th, 2015 7:34PM

Paula Deen restaurant closes

By The Associated Press
SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) -- A wildly popular Georgia restaurant at the center of a lawsuit that left the reputation of famed Southern celebrity cook Paula Deen in shambles has reportedly closed.

Uncle Bubba's Seafood & Oyster House announced the closure Thursday on its Facebook page, The Savannah Morning News ( ) and WSAV television ( ) reported.

"Thank you for 10 great years. Uncle Bubba's is now closed," the Facebook message said.

Deen's brother, restaurant operator Bubba Hiers, decided to shut the eatery's doors "in order to explore development options for the waterfront property on which the restaurant is located," the reports said, quoting a statement from the Key Group public relations and marketing company. "At this point, no specific plans have been announced," the statement said.

The closure was effective as of Thursday, and employees will be provided with severance pay and assistance looking for new jobs, the statement said.

Deen co-owned the restaurant with Hiers, who oversaw daily operations. Former employee Lisa Jackson sued them both in 2012, saying she worked in an environment rife with racial slurs and sexual innuendo during her five years as manager of the restaurant.

The case got little attention outside Savannah until Deen herself was questioned under oath in a legal deposition. A transcript filed with the court the following month showed Deen acknowledged using racial slurs in the past. When an attorney asked if she had ever used the N-word, Deen replied: "Yes, of course." She also added, "It's been a very long time."

Within a few days, the Food Network said it would not renew Deen's contract and yanked her shows off the air. Smithfield Foods, the pork producer that paid Deen as a celebrity endorser, dropped her soon after. Retailers including Wal-Mart and Target said they would no longer sell Deen's products, and publisher Ballantine scuttled plans for a cookbook even though it was the No. 1 seller on Amazon.

A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit last year after lawyers reached a deal.

This year, Deen has attempted to make a comeback, staging public cooking demonstrations and announcing plans for a new restaurant in Tennessee.

In February she announced that private investment firm Najafi Companies was investing $75 million to $100 million to help her bounce back, and that as part of the deal, she was launching an umbrella company, Paula Deen Ventures, to oversee her restaurants, cookbooks and product endorsements.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 10 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 10 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 10 months ago )
U.S. News
State DOT awards $48M contract for NE Ga. road project
The state Department of Transportation has awarded a $47.8 million contract for nine miles of work on a northeast Georgia road.
9:37AM ( 10 months ago )
Business News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 10 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 10 months ago )
Maysville man dies from Banks County wreck
The Georgia State Patrol reports that alcohol and/or drugs were factors a single-vehicle wreck that claimed the life of a Maysville man in Banks County Tuesday night.
11:07AM ( 10 months ago )
Local/State News
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 10 months ago )
Conviction of Putin foe sets off protest in Moscow
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
6:03PM ( 10 months ago )
More Georgians signing up for health insurance
A federal report says more Georgians have selected health insurance plans through a federally facilitated marketplace.
4:16PM ( 10 months ago )
Police: Standoff at Planned Parenthood is ongoing, shooter brought unspecified items with him
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A gunman opened fire at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic on Friday, wounding multiple people and engaging in gun battles with police as patients and staff members du...
6:59PM ( 35 minutes ago )
White House undergoes Thanksgiving Day lockdown after man draped in American flag jumps fence
WASHINGTON (AP) — A man draped in an American flag climbed over the fence at the White House on Thursday, prompting a lockdown as the first family celebrated Thanksgiving.The man was immediately appre...
10:11PM ( 21 hours ago )
Obama grants reprieve to turkeys 'Honest' and 'Abe' during White House ceremony
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama spared two turkeys named for one of the nation's most admired presidents, continuing a White House tradition that provides a refreshing sense of amusement and...
9:18PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: UN Security Council strongly condemns 'horrifying' attack in Mali, urges probe
BAMAKO, Mali (AP) — The latest on the attack on a hotel in the Malian capital of Bamako. (All times local):___4:55 a.m.The U.N. Security Council is condemning "the horrifying terrorist attack" at the...
10:58PM ( 6 days ago )
World leaders vow vigorous response to Paris terror spree, but little indication of next steps
ANTALYA, Turkey (AP) — World leaders vowed a vigorous response to the Islamic State group's terror spree in Paris as they opened a two-day meeting in Turkey on Sunday, with President Barack Obama call...
2:14PM ( 1 week ago )