Paula Deen Ventures has announced plans in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. for the first of the former Food Network chef’s new restaurants, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. With an expected opening date of summer 2014, Deen’s plans for a comeback are barreling ahead, just days after what appears to have been a healing public apology in South Beach, followed by some self-medication by way of tequila.
Pigeon Forge is also home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Dollywood. The 20 thousand square-foot restaurant has an expected annual operation budget of approximately $20 million, and will join business retailers like Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville Hotel and Build-A-Bear, in the “family-friendly real estate project.” Paula Deen Ventures also expects to take part in more “expansion opportunities in a range of categories,” within the next several months, according to a press release.
“Together, we can develop Paula Deen retail and restaurants that capture the imagination of Paula’s massive fan base and Pigeon Forge’s huge tourist community,” said Bob McManus, one of Pigeon Forge’s community developers.
Karen Lo is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @appleplexy.