Soul Daddy, the winner of “America’s Next Great Restaurant,” has closed its New York and Los Angeles locations less than two months from their debut in May.
One location of the fast-casual concept with a healthful, soul food-inspired menu remains open at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.
“The realities of running a restaurant are very difficult, more so with multiple locations in multiple cities,” ANGR Holdings LLC., the brand’s managing company, said in a statement Tuesday. “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 South Street Seaport location of Soul Daddy in New York City closed Tuesday and the Los Angeles location on Wednesday.
“While it has certainly been a difficult decision, we believe this is the best approach as we work towards ongoing success for Soul Daddy,” the statement added.
Founder Jamawn Woods did not return calls by press time.
Earlier this year, a panel of industry experts gathered by Nation’s Restaurant News predicted who might win the America’s Next Great Restaurant challenge. All three on the panel predicted that opening three locations simultaneously in different cities presented a potentially insurmountable challenge.
Soul Daddy is backed by the show judges, who are also investors, including Chipotle Mexican Grill founder Steve Ells and celebrity chefs Bobby Flay, Lorena Garcia and Curtis Stone.