'America's Next Great Restaurant'-Winning Chain Soul Daddy Closes All But One Location
Looks like Soul Daddy will not be celebrating Father's Day this year. Eater reports that two of its three locations, in New York and Los Angeles, closed yesterday after being open just a month. The "healthy soul food" chain was founded by America’s Next Great Restaurant-winner Jamawn Woods. Some of the investment money for the chain supposedly came from the show's judges—Chipotle founder Steve Ells, and chefs Lorena Garcia, Curtis Stone and Bobby Flay. The restaurant’s PR team stated that the owners want to “focus on developing the best restaurant” they can at the one remaining Soul Daddy, on the third floor of the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Early feedback for Soul Daddy on Yelp and Chowhound has been decidedly mixed. Some complain that the restaurant’s concept is derivative of Chipotle; one review called it “just gross.” Soul Daddy is Wood’s first restaurant. Before winning the NBC reality show, he was the chef-owner of W3’s, a small catering company in Detroit.