Well, another day, another closure. The Los Angeles location of Soul Daddy is being shut down, too. Yesterday came the news that the winner of America's Next Great Restaurant, healthy soul food restaurant Soul Daddy, was closing its New York City location after just one month. All that's left of the upstart chain is the Minneapolis location (on the third floor of the Mall of America).
Guess the judges on the show who were also "investors" — Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone, Lorena Garcia, and Chipotle founder Steve Ells — didn't plunk down that much money to sustain the business through tough times. Here's the statement from the PR team:
The realities of running a restaurant are very difficult, more so with multiple locations in multiple cities. After a careful review of the business model and the performance of the restaurants, we have decided that our best opportunity for Soul Daddy’s success is to focus our efforts on establishing a solid footing in one location, building the brand, and developing the operations from there. We have decided to close our restaurants at Hollywood and Highland in Los Angeles and the South Street Seaport in New York, effective June 14, and focus on developing the best restaurant we can at the Mall of America restaurant in Bloomington, Minnesota. While it has certainly been a difficult decision, we believe this is the best approach as we work towards ongoing success for Soul Daddy.
Jamawn Woods, the winner of the show, was promised the "prize" of a three-unit restaurant chain. See the intro below in which it's clearly stated that the winner receives "an extraordinary prize" of "three restaurants in three cities":
Perhaps the show should have been called "America's Next Great Midwest Mall Novelty That's Short on Cash."