A federal jury has ruled in favor of a New Jersey man (and devoted Yankees fan) who wanted to open a sports bar called Buck Foston's Road House and awarded him a hefty settlement, reports The Star-Ledger. Nightclub owner Laurence Blatterfein originally tried to open Buck Foston's — a reference to the legendary rivalry between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox — back in 2011, but city officials refused to grant him a liquor license for the bar. While the city claimed the rejection was due to the planned sports bar's "location at one of the heaviest traveled intersections in the city," Blatterfein felt that the reasons were considerably more arbitrary and blamed Mayor James Cahill, "an avowed Boston Red Sox fan" whom Blatterfein said viewed the name as "vulgar."
This being America and all, Blatterfein decided to sue the city. According to The Star-Ledger, he claimed that Cahill was "violating his first amendment constitutional right to free speech" by refusing to grant the liquor license. After nearly three years of courtroom battles and appeals, the jury ultimately decided to rule in Blatterfein's favor and award him a $1.5 million settlement. (Mayor Cahill tells The Star-Ledger that Blatterfein was originally asking for between $7 and $10 million.)
The ruling in the plaintiff's favor doesn't mean Buck Foston's will see the light of day in New Brunswick, however; as Mayor Cahill told The Star-Ledger, "the property would not be permitted to be developed today" due to local ordinances that prevent new construction at the site. Not deterred (and considerably richer), Blatterfein has since moved to Florida and "said he intends to renew his efforts to open a sports bar with the Buck Foston's concept in a different location." Seeing as how Florida's baseball fans aren't nearly as rabid as Boston's, perhaps he'll have better luck there?
· Club Owner Wins Fight, $1.5 Million Verdict in Naming of Sports Bar [The Star-Ledger]
· Man Claims New Brunswick Mayor is Preventing Him From Opening Sports Bar Called Buck Foston's [The Star-Ledger]
· More Name Disputes Coverage on Eater [-E-]