Former Food Network star and deep fryer overlord Paula Deen threw open the doors to her new butter palace in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. today and people went wild. News broke earlier this month that the 300-seat restaurant — called Paula Deen's Family Kitchen — will serve Southern dishes like fried chicken and fried okra just a stone's throw away from the Dollywood theme park.
Turns out plenty of people want to buy what the butter queen is selling, which in this case is "big ol' bowls [of fried food] on the table" and plenty of Deen-branded merchandise. The 20,000 square foot-space appeared to be packed to the brim, and lines were out the door for the apparently highly anticipated restaurant. Deen — who was draped in pearls — was on hand to meet with her fans Check out images and tweets from opening day below:
Paula Deen's restaurant in Pigeon Forge opens Monday: After months of anticipation, Paula Deen's Family Kitchen… http://t.co/fhGGPngyru— Knoxville Buzz (@KnoxvilleBuzz) April 27, 2015