This week, Soul Daddy shut its New York and Los Angeles locations, with the news bringing along doubt that the concept was perhaps not America's Next Great restaurant.
The company's statement regarding the closures was fairly generic: "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 a more focused operation." But, presumably, the mostly lackluster "healthy" soul food (here are our first impressions of it) was the reason behind the slow sales.[jump]
The Mall of America location remains open and the Star Tribune reports that Soul Daddy's concept originator and co-owner Jamawn Woods is planning to move to Minnesota, having recently put an offer in on a home in Lakeville.
Woods plans to be at the MOA store every day and tweaking the menu to add Hoppin' John (blackeyed peas and rice), corn on the cob, and replace the cold sweet potato salad with a warm yam side.
Eater.com commenters are already snarking about the intelligence of the decision, noting that 5.2% of the state's population is black, a large segment of which includes pork-eschwing Muslims so bye-bye pork, compared to 12.6% for the whole country.
Stay tuned to find out if the changes will save Soul Daddy.