Food Network star Guy Fieri’s efforts to shut down his first restaurant venture, Johnny Garlic’s, were thwarted by longtime business partner and co-founder Steven Gruber, according to Eater.
On December 14, Fieri filed a petition with California’s Office of the Secretary to dissolve the business, according to Courthouse News. In response, Gruber sued Fieri and Johnny Garlic’s Inc. on December 18 in Sonoma County Court, seeking to exercise his right to purchase Fieri’s shares and avoid the dissolution. Gruber and Fieri co-founded Johnny Garlic’s in Fieri’s hometown, Santa Rosa, in 1996 and each held half of the issued shares and voting power for Johnny Garlic’s.
A representative for Fieri tells Eater, “After more than twenty successful years as a partner in Johnny Garlic's, Inc., Guy Fieri has chosen to separate from the company and its restaurants. Guy wishes the entire Johnny Garlic's, Inc., team the best.”
Johnny Garlic's CFO Amy Witt tells Eater, “Guy Fieri filed to dissolve the company and Steve Gruber filed a petition to stop the dissolution and is exercising his right to purchase Guy’s shares under the appropriate California codes. Under this petition filed by Steve, the company will continue normal operations.”