Buck Foston Request Denied, Owner Wins $1.5 In Suit Against New Brunswick

Kim LaCapria

New Brunswick, NJ venue owner Larry Blatterfein wanted to name a bar "Buck Foston's," in an attempt to appeal to fans of the New York Yankees -- and when the spoilsports in charge of those sorts of decision thwarted his new business plan, the nightspot entrepreneur fought back.

The "Buck Foston" spoonerism makes sense in the context of the Boston Red Sox New York Yankees rivalry, one that generally manifests in playful insults when one fan spots another sporting a rival team's hat or jersey.

But Blatterfein took it a step further, coming up with the concept of a sports bar called "Buck Foston's Road House," planned for New Brunswick.

Blatterfein is himself a Yankees fan, but not everyone in Jersey proudly wears pinstripes. According to NJ.com, rivalry between the teams is alleged to be a factor, though implied vulgarity in truth likely played more of a part:

"But New Brunswick officials opposed granting Blatterfein a liquor license for the new sports bar, which would have been at Routes 1 and 18 in the former Benningan's Restaurant... Blatterfein blamed Mayor James Cahill, an avowed Boston Red Sox fan, who he said orchestrated the liquor license rejection by the city council because he believed the name was 'vulgar,' and 'didn't belong in New Brunswick.' "

It's often said that you can't fight city hall, but that's exactly what Buck Foston's intended proprietor set out to do -- alleging his Constitutional rights had been infringed when the liquor license was denied for his planned sports bar.

Blatterfein explained after a judgment in his favor for $1.5 million was awarded:

"This has been a long, grueling and expensive process to have my day in court and tell my story, but I remained confident that one day a jury, presented with the same evidence I saw, would agree that my rights were unconstitutionally infringed[.]"

New Brunswick's mayor tells a different tale, indicating that Buck Foston's proprietor sought far higher damages and noting that the proposal had other issues:

"Motorists and the surrounding neighborhood who travel the roadway will not be burdened with a night club and sports bar drinking establishment that doubles the occupancy of the former restaurant on the site located on a dangerous off-ramp connecting two major highways in New Brunswick."

The Buck Foston suit was filed in 2011, and soon thereafter Blatterfein moved to Florida. The $1.5 million judgment was good news to the former Jersey resident, but the Yankees fan also explains that he plans to pursue his Buck Foston dreams in an alternate venue location.