Letting Trump revive the place from the ashes would embarrass him, as Ed Koch was when Trump saved the Wollman Rink from City Hall's incompetence in the 1970s."
Donald J. Trump and the head of the powerful union that represented the 400 workers at Tavern on the Green say they have come to an agreement that could revive the shuttered landmark restaurant that is now home to a food-truck court and a visitor center, according to the New York Times.
Mr. Trump, never reticent about his ambitions, said that if New York City granted him the license to run Tavern he would spend $20 million of his own money to rebuild it so it would be “the highest-grossing restaurant on the planet.’’ Neither he nor the union’s leader, Peter Ward, president of the Hotel and Motel Trades Council, would reveal specifics of the agreement. But Mr. Trump said “the contract allows me to offer the highest level of service and quality.”
Reaching a deal with Mr. Ward has been a crucial stumbling block to reopening the once-glittering restaurant after its previous operator, the LeRoy family, declared bankruptcy and closed it on New Year’s Day of last year. The city owns the restaurant in Central Park and had given the operating license to Dean J. Poll, operator of the Boathouse in the park. But Mr. Poll lost the right to run the restaurant after he failed to reach agreement with the union, a necessary condition for his license.
For the plans to go forward for a future “Trump on the Green,” the developer would have to get the New York City Parks Department to grant him the operating license. And yesterday, the city did not leap into Mr. Trump’s arms.
The parks department deferred to City Hall and Jason Post, a spokesman for the mayor, said, “The city is not ready to announce any future plans for Tavern on the Green and has not had any discussions with possible restaurant operators.”
The city’s original request for Tavern bidders had specified that the new operator come to agreement with the union, and Mayor Bloomberg cited the failure of Mr. Poll to do so as the reason for suspending the fruitless negotiations last May.
Mr. Ward said that his agreement with Mr. Trump allowed for the rehiring of former Tavern workers, some of whom have been unemployed since it closed. “It’s not only the workers — reopening Tavern would mean more money for the city. It would be a win-win situation.”
Mr. Trump said of his deal with the union that “the economic consequences of the union contract won’t be a consideration since the restaurant will be such a huge success.”