Spiky-haired television personality Guy Fieri is feeling the heat, not just from his flamed t-shirt collection, but also from his longtime business partner Steve Gruber. According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the platinum coifed Fieri is trying to leave Johnny Garlic’s, the chain he started in 1996 with Gruber. Apparently, the restaurant’s Kraft Kocktails just weren’t doing enough for Fieri anymore. Gruber is pissed and is now suing the TV Star.
A spokesperson for Fieri tells the paper that Fieri has “chosen to separate from the company and its restaurants for creative and operational considerations” after nearly 20 years with the chain which has seven locations across California. The restaurateur announced his intent to dissolve the chain on December 14. Gruber filed a petition to stop the dissolution of the company and “is exercising his right to purchase Guy’s shares,” notes Amy Witt, Johnny Garlic’s chief financial officer.
The restaurant will continue to operate normally, even under the lawsuit. However, it is unclear where or not dishes that feature Fieri’s name—such as the “Guy-Talian Spicy Sausage & Penne” and “Guy’s Big Bite Burger”—will be renamed. NBC also points out that Fieri’s signature is “emblazoned on the company’s logo and gift cards,” meaning that even if Fieri is no longer part of the company, his presence will be hard to shake.
Even without Johnny Garlic’s, the road to Flavortown is basically paved in gold. Fieri is the host of multiple successful Food Network show’s including Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and Guy’s Grocery Games. He also still owns the ridiculous Tex Wasabi’s Rock-N-Roll Sushi-BBQ in Santa Rosa, California as well as temples to Donkey Sauce a.k.a Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen and Bar in Las Vegas and Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar in NYC. Not to mention, he hawks a line of tatted-up cookware, has his own barbecue sauce, and is now making wine. And if all of that fails, Fieri still has the potential to be the biggest hip-hop star in the game.