Soul Daddy closes in New York City, Los Angeles

Two of America’s Next Great Restaurant winner Jamawn Woods’ three Soul Daddy restaurants have closed, leaving just one location open. Both the New York City and Los Angeles locations closed forever yesterday, after opening May 1 following the lackluster and low-rated finale of the NBC reality competition.

Jamawn actually learned of the closings late yesterday, and was surprised. “This is the first I’ve heard of it. It’s put a real damper on the day,” he told the Star-Tribune, which reports he is moving to Minneapolis for “his year-long management training.”

Soul Daddy’s web site now lists a single “location,” which is kind of hilarious, since that word is usually plural on web sites for, you know, chain restaurants. And there’s a sad sign in the window of the New York restaurant.

In a statement published by Eater, publicists said,

“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.”

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.