Nantucket clam shack feud between billionaires Johnson and Schwab

When it comes to disagreements, even billionaires are not immune. Nantucket Island has become the stage for a compelling clash between two prominent figures: Charles Johnson, the owner of the San Francisco Giants, and Charles Schwab, the renowned investment tycoon. Both billionaires have stakes in Nantucket and find themselves on opposing sides of a dispute revolving around the forthcoming Straight Wharf Fish Market. This intriguing battle is set to determine the fate of the highly anticipated establishment.

Nantucket clam shack feud between billionaires Johnson and Schwab

The Dueling Perspectives

In an unexpected turn of events, Johnson has resorted to legal action in his bid to halt the opening of the Straight Wharf restaurant. His objections stem from the close proximity of his own “simple shack” – a modest 1,200-square-foot home with a staggering value of $6.5 million. Fueled by concerns over potential noise and congestion, Johnson, alongside his attorney Danielle deBenedictis, has approached the area’s Select Board, appealing for the revocation of the restaurant’s hard-earned liquor license. Initially, deBenedictis claimed to represent Schwab as well, yet the investment mogul promptly clarified his position, affirming his support for the restaurant.

Schwab’s attorney, Steve Cohen, delivered a compelling statement to counter the allegations made by Johnson and deBenedictis. Cohen revealed that the Schwabs and their fellow residents at Old North Wharf initially shared concerns over the establishment’s original plan to transform into a nightclub, complete with a bar, dancing, and live music. In a show of unwavering support, Cohen stated, “[T]he Schwabs and many neighbors at Old North Wharf…look forward to enjoying a fresh clam roll and cold soft-serve twist cone on the harbor.” This unexpected display of solidarity from Schwab left Gabriel Frasca, one of the Straight Wharf franchise owners, pleasantly surprised. However, the impending lawsuit casts a shadow of uncertainty over the restaurant’s scheduled July opening, raising doubts about the financial resources required to prevail.

Different Perspectives

Sarah Alger, an attorney representing the Old North Wharf Cooperative, challenges the way this saga has been framed, contesting the notion of a David versus Goliath narrative. Alger asserts that the attempt to portray the situation as a folksy clam shack dispute is far from accurate, emphasizing that the establishment is, in fact, a full-fledged restaurant. This underscores the complexity and gravity of the matter, as wealthy individuals mobilize their resources to determine the ultimate fate of the Nantucket Straight Wharf Fish Market.

The Verdict

With the stage set for a high-stakes battle, only time will reveal the victor in this titanic clash between Nantucket’s billionaires. As the legal proceedings unfold, the fate of the Straight Wharf Fish Market hangs in the balance. Will Johnson’s concerns over noise and congestion prevail, or will Schwab’s resolute support for the restaurant triumph? Nantucket residents and onlookers alike eagerly await the outcome of this engrossing dispute, recognizing that the stakes reach far beyond a simple restaurant opening.

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