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Justin Sets the Record Straight on Southern Hospitality

Justin Sets the Record Straight on Southern Hospitality
Justin Timberlake
Dave Allocca/startraks

02/10/2009 AT 10:00 AM EST

Rumor patrol! Justin Timberlake is not opening another restaurant. For starters, he doesn't even own a single establishment.

Yes, BBQ fans, contrary to popular belief, Timberlake is not involved in New York's Southern Hospitality, his rep tells PEOPLE in an exclusive statement.

"Approximately three years ago, Justin and his close friends, Eytan Sugarman and Trace Ayala, discussed the idea of bringing Memphis-style BBQ and ribs to the New York City marketplace," according to the statement.

"The three friends spent a year creating the Southern Hospitality concept and were actively involved in all elements of design, menu offerings, and musical format."

But that's where the connection ends. Sugarman now operates and primarily owns the restaurant himself.

"While Justin and Trace continue their friendship with Eytan, and continue to provide fresh ideas and promotion for Southern Hospitality, they are not investors, owners or partners, nor do they have any knowledge of or involvement in the operations of the restaurant," the statement says.

"Southern Hospitality has been open for over a year now, and is Justin and Trace's favorite place in New York for truly authentic Memphis-style BBQ and ribs."

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