Attention Opry Mills shoppers: famed (and highly controversial) Food Network chef Paula Deen appears to have another comeback attempt in mind — this time in Music City. According to tipsters and a listing on the Visit Music City website, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen is coming to 701 Opry Mills Drive (an address that shows up right beside the General Jackson showboat, but hasn’t been confirmed by restaurant representatives).
Attempts to confirm with Paula Deen’s folks only resulted in a message saying the opening isn’t scheduled until sometime in 2020, and that announcements will be made then.
For folks unfamiliar with the chain of restaurants, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen first opened in 2014, a year after Deen was embroiled in scandal over a history of racism in both personal and professional settings. The first outpost opened in another Tennessee tourist destination, Pigeon Forge, Tennesee, just a stone’s throw away from Dolly Parton’s Dollywood. The other locations of the family kitchen are more casual (and decidedly more commercial) than Deen’s famed eatery The Lady & Sons, though a number of dishes on the menu (like fried green tomatoes, biscuits, and fried chicken) are similar to those found at the chef’s Savannah restaurant.
Since first opening in Pigeon Forge, they’ve expanded to Branson, Missouri, and beaches in Florida and South Carolina. A San Antonio located shuttered earlier this year, while a Dallas suburban outpost quietly closed just last month, with all mentions of Texas erased from its website and social media.