End of an Era…Tavern on the Green Closes

The legendary New York restaurant Tavern on the Green closed its doors after serving a last supper and hosting a New Year’s party.

The iconic spot on the western edge of Central Park will undergo major renovations under a new operator and may even retain its famous name, but to many patrons, this is indisputably the end of an era. The LeRoy family was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2009 after losing a bidding war for to another proprietor, Dean Poll, who also owns the Boathouse Restaurant in Central Park. Once the restaurant closes all operations, its contents will be auctioned off by Guernsey’s auction house.

As part of the 20-year license to operate the restaurant, Poll is expected to invest $25 million on renovations.

While maintaining the Victorian historic features of the building, Poll’s plan is to incorporate green building technology as well as replacing the kitchen and electrical and plumbing systems. The renovations, which are expected to take four years, will be conducted in phases so the restaurant can remain open.

It was never known for it’s food – but yet the restaurant became the destination for anniversaries, birthdays and family affairs, It served more than 500,000 people a year, an average of 1,400 dinners a night. Tourists eagerly descended upon the eatery for the crab cakes, wedge salad, salmon and parmesan-crusted chicken.

Andrew Knowlton, restaurant editor for Bon Appetit magazine, said the restaurant has never been the greatest venue for foodies. “When you’re serving 2,000 meals a deal, I don’t care if you’re [chef] Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulud, you just can’t put out that much of a volume and have top quality food.”

CNN ran a great historical piece this about the restaurant and the LeRoy Family.


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