Dining/retail project to join Margaritaville, Dollywood resort, event center in city
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (Feb 27, 2014) – Paula Deen Ventures has announced it will open Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen, a restaurant and retail operation, at the Island in Pigeon Forge, a mixed-use development in the heart of Pigeon Forge.
It has a projected design, construction and yearly operation budget of nearly $20 million and will occupy a 20,000-square-foot building. Opening is planned for late summer 2014.
“This is yet another major investment in Pigeon Forge tourism,” said Leon Downey, executive director of the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism.
“Other recent announcements include Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Island Hotel and Restaurant and the DreamMore Resort at Dollywood. Also, the city opened its $45 million LeConte Center at Pigeon Forge last October,” he said.
Darby Campbell and Bob McManus, developers of The Island in Pigeon Forge, have partnered with Paula Deen Ventures on the Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen project.
“We can develop Paula Deen retail and restaurants that capture the imagination of Paula’s massive fan base and Pigeon Forge’s huge tourist community,” Campbell said.
Pigeon Forge, with a resident population of about 6,400, welcomes more than 10 million visitors a year. More than 2.5 million of them stay overnight.
“One of Pigeon Forge’s fundamental appeals is that every year brings new reasons to visit. Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen is carrying on a great tradition of growth for Pigeon Forge,” Downey said.
Tom Adkinson, APR