BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Paula Deen's Family Kitchens in our area have closed their doors.
A representative from Destin Commons tells us four locations opened by Phoenix Hospitality + Entertainment all closed Monday. Those include the restaurants in Destin and in Panama City Beach.
"We were disappointed to learn that Phoenix Hospitality + Entertainment permanently closed all four of its Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen restaurants Monday, November 11th. Retail space at Destin Commons continues to be in high demand and we look forward to introducing a new concept soon," Heather Ruiz with Destin Commons told us in a statement.
Employees tell us they showed up to work at the Pier Park location and started their prep work, only to find out the doors weren't opening. They tell us they were not warned Monday would be their last day.
"I have no clue where I'll go from here," Tiffany Wainwright, an employee of the Pier Park location, said. "I have bills, kids, you know we are all worried about that. What will we do? Where will we go? How will we pay our bills? Christmas is right around the corner, Thanksgiving is, and again we are still dealing with the effects from Hurricane Michael. We didn't deserve what happened to us [Monday]."
Paula Deen was in Panama City Beach in May when the Pier Park restaurant held its grand opening.
Jaret Keller, a representative for Paula Deen Ventures, sent us this statement Monday night:
"Unfortunately, Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen’s licensing partner, Phoenix Hospitality, has decided to close its Destin and Panama City Beach, Florida locations. Paula Deen Ventures plans to work with the landlords at these locations while considering to reopen them next Spring. The possible restructuring of the businesses would provide our guests with exceptional dining experience that lives up to our brand standards. Our sincere thanks to the community and our wonderful employees for their support and loyalty."
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