Deen’s name on Joliet restaurant on borrowed time
BY BOB OKON email@example.com June 27, 2013 6:56PM
Updated: July 30, 2013 8:38AM
Paula Deen’s name will be removed from the restaurant at Harrah’s Casino Joliet sometime in the next two weeks, a casino spokeswoman said Thursday.
Caesars Entertainment Corp., which owns Harrah’s, announced this week that it will drop Paula Deen’s Kitchen restaurants at its four casinos that have them.
The final rebranding of the restaurant could take months. But the removal of the Paula Deen name from the restaurant in Joliet apparently could happen within a matter of days.
“It will be in the next couple of weeks,” said Jennifer Nocco, vice president of marketing at the Joliet casino.
The casino is still deciding what to do with the restaurant, which was a buffet before Paula Deen’s Kitchen opened in April 2012.
“It’s going to be temporarily renamed ‘The Restaurant at Harrah’s’ until we develop our branding strategy,” Nocco said.
She said the casino has heard from both supporters of Paula Deen and people who wanted the restaurant changed since a controversy arose last week over Deen’s statements in a court deposition that she had used a racial slur in the past.
“There are obviously people who feel very passionate on both sides of the issue,” Nocco said.
Caesars announced its decision Wednesday, the same day that Walmart said it would stop selling Paula Deen products. Food Network last week dropped Deen. And Smithfield Foods earlier this week said she would no longer be a company spokeswoman.