Southern Hospitality isn’t on our list of the 10 best barbecue restaurants, but that certainly hasn’t put a dent in its popularity among Justin Timberlake fans and undiscerning diners alike. Given that its two locations on the Upper East Side and in Hell’s Kitchen have always felt like part of a nationwide chain, it’s only appropriate that they soon will be.
According to Nation’s Restaurant News, the expansion plan is the work of Ryan Tedder, the frontman for OneRepublic. Tedder was involved with the development of the restaurant’s Hell’s Kitchen location, and now plans to bring Southern Hospitality to at least 10 cities across the U.S.
(Incidentally, while it’s tempting to comment about the fact yet another musician is involved with the restaurant, Justin Timberlake has taken pains to point out that he has nothing to do with Southern Hospitality, aside from providing some input on its Memphis-style barbecue concept. And judging by some of the reviews it’s gotten, we don’t blame him.)
The CEO of Accredited Members Holding Corporation, the company involved with the franchise deal, told NRN that “our intent is to build a powerful network of Southern Hospitality BBQ restaurants across America.” Given that he’s only talking about chicken fingers and pulled pork nachos, that shouldn’t sound particularly ominous, but it does.