7:03 PM EDT, June 26, 2013
Paula Deen's restaurant in Joliet is no longer Paula Deen's restaurant.
In cutting ties with Deen Wednesday after her admission that she used a racial slur, Caesars Entertainment announced that it would re-brand the four Deen-themed restaurants it operates around the country.
“We do not have a date for the re-branding, but we are temporarily renaming the restaurant The Restaurant at Harrah's,” said Jennifer Nocco, vice president of marketing for Harrah's Joliet Hotel and Casino, a Caesars property. “That name will change, probably before the end of the year when the actual re-branding is done.” Asked if the menu would change in the meantime, Nocco added that it would change as early as Thursday, gradually being replaced with a variety of dishes from different Harrah's restaurants. Also, the casino's Paula Deen gift shop will remain but eventually be replaced as well.
“We have received a lot of feedback from guests throughout the past week about Paula,” she said, “both in support of her and in support of making a change.”
Deen visited the Joliet location twice: Once for the grand opening in April 2012, and last April for the anniversary.
Wal-Mart on Wednesday also announced it would sever its relationship with Deen.
In a tearful interview on NBC's “Today” show earlier in the day, the Southern food doyenne said she never intentionally hurt anyone, and that it was important for her to tell “everyone out there what I believe and how I live my life.”
When asked if she felt she had racist tendencies, she replied, “No.”
-- Reuters contributed.
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