The iconic Central Park restaurant, Tavern on the Green, closed its doors on January 1. The restaurant, which opened in 1936 and was known more for its ambiance and history than for its cuisine, went out with a bang with a 1,500-person party on New Year’s Eve. But the restaurant won’t be gone forever; new owners will be taking over, renovating the building, and eventually reopening.
Tavern on the Green’s most recent owners began having financial problems after losing a bidding war for the lease to Dean Poll, who owns the Boathouse Restaurant in Central Park. The owners have since filed for bankruptcy and will be auctioning off the fixtures and supplies of the restaurant before transferring ownership to Poll, who is expected to invest $25 million in renovations and updates to the restaurant, including installing green technology to make the building more eco-friendly.
While this isn’t the first time the restaurant has changed hands, it’s the first time the new space might not be called Tavern on the Green. It seems the name was trademarked in 1981 and has been valued at $19 million. Poll has registered the name Tavern in Park with the city as a backup, should the original name not be available for use.