Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Tavern on the Green Closes Due to Bankruptcy
Tavern on the Green, the iconic New York City restaurant overlooking Central Park, closed its doors for the last time on New Year's Eve. The restaurant has been a mainstay in the New York City culinary community for the past 75 years, drawing diners from across the globe.
As recently as three years ago, Tavern on the Green was plating more than 700,000 meals a year and generating annual revenues exceeding $38 million. However, the recession has dealt a crushing blow to the restaurant, sending it to bankruptcy court with more than $8 million in debt.
An auction will be held this week to sell off many of the ornate adornments which mark the restaurants décor, including chandeliers, stained glass, and a mural of Central Park. Proceeds will go towards paying off creditors.
Tavern on the Green has been owned by the LeRoy family since 1973, when Warner LeRoy took over the restaurant's lease. When he died in 2001, his wife and daughter took over the business.
A Manhattan federal judge is currently deciding whether the restaurant's name can be used by the next operator of the building. The Tavern on the Green name is valued at more than $19 million, a sum that will greatly help the LeRoys with their financial troubles if the judge rules they own the rights to the name.
Dean Poll, owner and operator of the Loeb Boathouse restaurant is expected to take over Tavern on the Green this spring, after renovating the building and modernizing the menu. The only question is whether he will be able to keep the classic name which has adorned the façade for almost a century.