The DPR announced on Friday it had picked a concessionaire to run a new restaurant at the Tavern on the Green location in Central Park. Dean Poll of Loeb Boathouse fame will run the restaurant which had been in the Warner LeRoy family for more than three decades. Although the DPR released Poll's capital investment ($ 25 million) they however refused to disclose what his annual fee to the city to operate the establishment will be.
Mr. Poll and Loeb Boathouse were the subject of a lengthy 2007 audit by Comptroller Thompson which found they shortchanged the taxpayers $381,070 by under-reporting more than two million dollars in gross receipts. The report received front page coverage when it was released on March 28, 2007. The apparent shoddy bookkeeping did not play into the city's decision in awarding the concession to Poll nor did it prevent the Parks Commissioner from heaping praise upon him in the press release: "We are pleased to select Dean Poll as the new operator of this world-famous location in Central Park. He has done an outstanding job for eight years at the Loeb Boathouse... "
One curious note: According to Crain's, Mr. Poll has no investors but he said he had secured a bank loan to fund the work. Banks don't usually lend money to businesses who have license agreements with the city because they can be terminated at the discretion of the city, in this case, the Parks Commissioner.
No word on whether Poll paid back the city's taxpayers. Only NY Post columnist Steve Cuozzo reminded the public of Poll's recent past in bilking the tax payers.
Boathouse Operator to Run Tavern on the Green, and Changes Are Planned
New York Times - August 28, 2009
Gaining Entree: Boathouse Guy Takes Tavern
New York Post - September 2, 2009
City picks new Tavern on the Green leaseholder
Crains New York - August 28, 2009