Noted Warriors fan, former Lamborghini owner, Food Network punchline, and annoyer of his Santa Rosa neighbors Guy Fieri has also been, in the last two decades, a restaurateur. But he's looking to rid himself of some of that bother, and as Salon reports he's filed paperwork in California to dissolve the company that owns the remaining seven franchise locations of Johnny Garlic's, his original flagship, and close them all down. But the CEO of Johnny Garlic's, Inc., Steve Gruber, is having none of this, and he's filed a petition to keep the restaurants open and filed a lawsuit against Fieri to purchase Fieri's remaining stock in the business and assume sole ownership.
Fieri and Gruber opened the first Johnny Garlic's which, if you haven't been, is kind of like if you mashed up a Chili's with an Olive Garden and a California Pizza Kitchen and threw in some Kraft Kocktails and a s'mores pizza in 1996 in Santa Rosa, where Fieri still has a home. They went on to open others in Windsor, Dublin, Petaluma, Sacramento, Brentwood, and Bakersfield, and Fieri more recently opened his Guy's American Kitchen and Bar in Times Square in New York, famously getting a mocking, yet seriously terrible review from the New York Times' Pete Wells in 2012. (E.g. "When you cruise around the country for your show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” rasping out slangy odes to the unfancy places where Americans like to get down and greasy, do you really mean it?")
One of two Sacramento locations of Johnny Garlic's already closed a year ago, but it sounds like this may be more of interpersonal conflict with his longtime partner a statement from Fieri says he "wishes the entire Johnny Garlic's Inc. the best," however he also says he's separating himself from the business for "creative and operational considerations."
As the Chron notes, Gruber may not want to completely alienate Fieri, if he hasn't already, because the two remain partners in Tex Wasabi's, the "rock-and-roll sushi BBQ" spot that once was a mini-chain, but now has only one remaining location in Santa Rosa. Though maybe that partnership isn't long for this world either.
Fieri also has a Las Vegas restaurant now, which: appropriate. As Eater notes, in the wake of the legal filings, you can still pay a visit to Flavortown by way of Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen and Bar, which so far has not received a New York Times review.