More Food Network Drama: Neelys Close Memphis Restaurants

July 8, 2013  |  

The Neelys (FoodNetwork.com)

Another of the Food Network’s stars are having some trouble, thankfully they’re no where near former FN star Paula Deen’s. The Neelys, of the popular show Down Home With the Neelys, have announced the closure of their restaurants in Memphis.

“We’re gone so much and involved in so many projects that it’s been really difficult to concentrate on the restaurants here like we need to,” Gina Neely told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. (H/t Black Enterprise)

And in a statement on their Facebook page, Patrick Neely wrote: “Gina and I want to thank you, our followers and fans for your continuous loyalty. We want to say from the bottom of our hearts how much we appreciate you. We want to share with you that we have closed the Neelys Bar B Que restaurants in Memphis, Tennessee indefinitely.”

But there may be a Deen connection that prompted the closing. According to BE, New York magazine’s food blog Grub Street openly speculated the timing of the changes in Memphis could be due to a not-yet-reported business alliance with Paula Deen.

Recently the Neelys were asked about the Deen scandal. “We were shocked and saddened to learn of the comments from Paula Deen. Racism of any kind from anyone is simply unacceptable and cannot be tolerated,” the Neelys told ET Online. “In our own relationship, Paula has shown us kindness and generosity. We trust that Paula’s apologies are sincere and hope there is a positive lesson to be learned from this situation.”

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