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Soul Daddy to be reborn in Detroit

Founder of the failed concept that won NBC’s “America’s Next Great Restaurant” will open a new location in his hometown

The creator of the Soul Daddy concept plans to bring the restaurant to his hometown of Detroit.

Jamawn Woods told the Minneapolis Star Tribune this week that he has a location in downtown Detroit, as well as a new partner in the healthful soul-food venture: Michael Farrow of the Farrow Group, a Detroit construction firm that will build the new restaurant.

The Soul Daddy concept won the reality television show “America’s Next Great Restaurant” on NBC, in which entrepreneurs competed to create a fast-casual chain. Judges included Chipotle Mexican Grill founder and chief executive Steve Ells, and celebrity chefs Bobby Flay, Lorena Garcia and Curtis Stone.

At the show’s conclusion, three Soul Daddy restaurants debuted in Los Angeles, New York and Bloomington, Minn., with Chipotle as a backer under the operating company ANGR Holdings.

Within two months, however, all three restaurants were closed.

Woods told the Star Tribune that he took legal action and received an out-of-court settlement from ANGR Holdings, though he did not specify his complaint.

He said he won the rights to the Soul Daddy name, as well as equipment and recipes.

Now he plans to start again as the majority owner. With ANGR Holdings, Woods said he held only a 10-percent stake.

Scheduled to open in the spring next year, the new Soul Daddy will have a similar menu, with a looser focus on healthfulness. Fried chicken will be added, as well as other traditional dishes, along with more healthful options.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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