The former chairman of Franklin Resources and a part-owner of the San Francisco Giants may soon be ending his lawsuit against Straight Wharf Fish Market, Bloomberg reported on Monday. The two have been sparring since earlier this year, with Johnson concerned that the restaurant’s selling of beer and wine might impact the community. Now, though, he may give up his litigation if Straight Wharf removes a mechanical system facing Johnson’s front yard.
“There has been an agreement for the agreement,” Kevin Burleson, a co-owner of Straight Wharf, told Bloomberg. (Johnson didn’t respond to the outlet’s request for comment via a lawyer, but his lawsuit was still pending as of Friday.)
Previously, Johnson had worked to rally neighbors against the seafood restaurant, particularly as far as the liquor license was concerned. At one point, even the financial exec Charles Schwab was on his side—but he’s since changed his tune. “We all look forward to enjoying a fresh clam roll and cold soft-serve twist cone on the harbor,” Schwab’s lawyer Steven Cohen said in an email to local officials, according to Bloomberg.
When the select board approved Straight Wharf’s application for its liquor license, Johnson sued to appeal that decision. But he tried to explain his opposition to the restaurant by calling out the real-estate developer who owns the site, rather than Straight Wharf’s owners. “It’s a billionaire versus a billionaire,” Johnson told the Nantucket Current in July. Steve Karp, the property owner, “has a wonderful PR firm that spread this little guy versus the big guy.”
More recently, Karp told Bloomberg that he’s been in touch with Johnson, and that he’s not trying to start a battle with the billionaire. “Why would you care about a little fish market on Nantucket?” Karp asked. “It is a small, little restaurant in Nantucket—and it has become a big national story.”
If Johnson really is ready to drop his lawsuit, that story may be coming to an end. And Nantucket’s wealthy seasonal residents will get to enjoy—guilt-free—Straight Wharf’s oysters, clam rolls, and ice cream.