Former Food Network star Paula Deen suddenly shut down her Uncle Bubba's Seafood and Oyster House yesterday — and didn't tell her employees. They found out about it when they showed up to work and saw the kitchen stripped of appliances. "Thank you for 10 great years," a note read on the restaurant's Facebook page. "Uncle Bubba's is now closed."
The embattled Savannah, Ga., restaurant has been a sore spot for the crumbling Deen empire. Last year, an employee filed a lawsuit claiming she was sexually harassed and that workers there routinely faced racial discrimination. In a deposition for the case, Deen admitted that "of course" she used the N-word in the past, an admission that led to the loss of lucrative endorsements and the canceling of her television show. The lawsuit was dismissed after lawyers settled out of court.
"Employees will be provided with severance based on position and tenure with the restaurant," the restaurant said in a statement. "All effort will be made to find employees comparable employment with other Savannah restaurant organizations."