Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen opening near Opry Mills in October


Paula Deen and her sons pose for a photo in front of Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. (Photo: Courtesy of OWA)

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen is bringing the Southern cook’s well-known Southern Fried Chicken and Ooey Gooey Butter Cake to Opry Mills this month.

The 406-seat family style restaurant is slated to open Oct. 26 adjacent to the Opry Mills Mall, and intends to hire more than 200 employees. It will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

The menu includes “classic dishes” based on recipes from Deen and her family, according to a news release.

“The dishes that are passed around the tables at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen are the foods my grandmother Paul taught me how to cook at her own kitchen table,” Deen said in a statement. “It means so much to be able to share those traditions and recipes with the Nashville community and its visitors.”

The menu at the restaurant’s Pigeon Forge location includes several Southern staples: fried green tomatoes, fried okra, chicken and dumplings, chicken-fried pork chops and catfish and others.

The 17,000-square-foot space will also include a Paula Deen Store featuring products hand-selected by Deen, including several products from her own line and a few that will be “exclusive to her Nashville store,” the release states.

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen in Pigeon Forge (Photo: Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen)

Deen launched her first culinary venture, a lunch delivery service, in 1989 from her home in Savannah, Georgia. She went on to open The Lady & Sons in downtown Savannah in 1996. 

Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen started with a restaurant in Pigeon Forge in 2015, growing to include locations in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Branson, Missouri, and Foley, Alabama. Nashville marks the restaurant’s fifth location and second in Tennessee.

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Reach Cassandra Stephenson at [email protected] or at (731) 694-7261. Follow Cassandra on Twitter at @CStephenson731.

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Taylor Swift debuts ‘Betty’ live from Grand Ole Opry House


Country stars Luke Bryan and Kelsea Ballerini talk about the COVID safety precautions in place at this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards, as well as the return of Taylor Swift to the show. (Sept. 15)

AP Domestic

Taylor Swift made a high-profile return to the Grand Ole Opry House on Wednesday night during the Academy of Country Music Awards and gave her first country awards show performance in seven years.

The Nashville-bred superstar sang “Betty,” a highlight from her latest album, “Folklore.”  The surprise album made Swift the first artist in history to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s album and songs charts. 

The song’s sound harks back to the confessional country-pop of Swift’s earliest albums, and thus was the first single of hers to crack the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart since “Red” in 2013. 

2013 was also the last year Swift performed at the ACMs — or any country awards show. That year she joined Tim McGraw and Keith Urban to sing “Highway Don’t Care” at the ACMs, and enlisted Alison Krauss, Vince Gill and others to perform “Red” at the CMA Awards. 

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Swift’s sound made a full swerve into pop (and away from Music Row) with 2014’s “1989” album. But she hasn’t been completely absent from the country landscape. In 2016, she penned Little Big Town’s chart-topping song “Better Man” and appeared on Sugarland’s 2018 single “Babe.”

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