"Thank you for 10 great years," Uncle Bubba's Oyster House,
owned by Deen and her brother, Bubba Hiers, told customers on
its website. "Uncle Bubba's is now closed."
A white employee of Uncle Bubba's sued Deen and her brother
claiming she had been the victim of sexual harassment and that
there was a pattern of racial discrimination against black
employees at the restaurant.
Deen said in a deposition in the case that she had used a racial
slur, which prompted Scripps Networks Interactive Inc to drop
her cooking show from its cable television channel, the Food
The controversy prompted companies such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc,
Target Corp and Home Depot Inc to stop selling Deen products.
A federal judge last summer dismissed the lawsuit.
Hiers closed the restaurant "in order to explore development
options for the waterfront property on which the restaurant is
located," Jaret Keller, spokesman for the Deen family, said in a
"At this point, no specific plans have been announced and a
range of uses are under consideration in order to realize the
highest and best use for the property."
Keller declined to comment on whether the restaurant's closure
was related to the lawsuit.
Deen has lately been staging a comeback, with The Wall Street
Journal reporting that a private equity firm agreed earlier this
year to invest $75 to $100 million in the recently formed Paula
(Editing by Kevin Gray and Richard Chang)
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