America's Next Great Restaurant? Not so great just yet.
Soul Daddy, the winning restaurant from the NBC reality show, has shuttered two of its three locations in New York and Los Angeles, Eater reports.
From creator Jamawn Woods, Soul Daddy opened three restaurants in New York, Los Angeles and Minneapolis on May 2 with investors (and series judges) Bobby Flay, Curtis Stone, Lorena Garcia and Chipotle founder Steve Ells. Woods' healthy soul food cuisine beat out fellow competitors Sudhir Kandula, who was behind the Indian restaurant concept Spice Coast, and Joseph Galluzzi, who hoped to open an Italian eatery called The Brooklyn Meatball Co. (but in our hearts, will always be Saucy Balls).
"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," the team behind Soul Daddy said in a statement.
"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."
News of Soul Daddy's poor performance is not surprising considering the underwhelming ratings for America's Next Great Restaurant. The reality series averaged 4.52 million viewers over its seven-week run.