Ed McFarland explains why it’s all just a big misunderstanding.Photo: Melissa Hom
So incensed is Ed McFarland, the proprietor of Ed’s Lobster Bar and the defendant in Pearl Oyster Bar owner Rebecca Charles’s intellectual-property suit, that he took the unusual step this afternoon of actually calling a press conference to defend himself. Unfortunately, the press conference was held in Ed’s Lobster Bar, which is indeed deeply reminiscent of Pearl Oyster Bar, where McFarland was the sous-chef for six years. “I am deeply saddened to learn that Rebecca Charles has brought an action against me,” McFarland announced. “I believe her action has no merit. I harbor no ill will and wish her safely to port.”
We like the nautical touch, but we were hoping for a refutation of some of Charles’s charges, such as the claim she made to the New York Times that “each and every element” of Pearl Oyster Bar was ripped off, including the bar, the furniture, the paint job, and even the Caesar salad dressing. The last detail was pooh-poohed by Alan Serrins, McFarlane’s attorney. “I didn’t know Caesar salads and lobsters are protected under the intellectual-property laws,” the attorney scoffed. We’re curious to see how this shakes out. Something tells us the suit isn’t going to be the joke McFarland makes it out to be.
Related: Consider the Lobster Roll