I’m one of those people who miss the legendary old Tavern on the Green in Central Park, and think NYC made a terrible mistake when it took away the restaurant’s operating license, which caused the magical place to be shuttered and gutted. It’s been operating as a visitor’s center that hardly anybody visits, selling NYC logo t-shirts and umbrellas for the last two years. New York City likely has lost millions of dollars in tax revenue with the loss of Tavern on the Green, which was the top grossing restaurant in New York City, and possibly the world.
So I’m pleased to report that the NYC Dept. of Parks is close to choosing a new operator for a new restaurant at the old Tavern on the Green site, but which won’t be called Tavern on the Green because the original operators own that name. Here’s the thing — according to Crain’s New York Business, finalists include a restaurant in Philadelphia and a company that operates food stalls in sports arenas. The one NYC restauranteur identified publicly is Michael Dorf, who created and runs the booming, popular City Winery in Soho. If you believe strongly — as I do — that a restaurant in NYC’s legendary Central Park should be operated by a NYC business, let the NYC Dept. of Parks know — click here for a direct link to email Parks Commissioner Adrien Benape. Let the Mayor’s office know. Let NYCOTC know, and we’ll forward your comments to Parks Commissioner Adrien Benape and Mayor Bloomberg. Let’s keep Tavern local, whether it’s operated by City Winery or another NYC restauranteur.