Mobile food trucks now occupy the former Tavern on the Green site. The City has lost millions of dollars when Mayor Bloomberg last year rejected a proposal by former Tavern owner Jennifer LeRoy that promised $30 million more than Dean Poll who was awarded the new concession despite past financial improprieties with another Central Park concession.
The new Tavern on the Green will be a casual restaurant with an outdoor café and bar—and anyone interested in running it will get a chance to make a bid next month, according to Crain's New York Business.
According to a Parks Department memo obtained by Crain's, the city “intends to issue a significant request for proposal” to operate the restaurant as a casual eatery.
A spokeswoman for the agency confirmed that the RFP will be issued in December. The memo was sent to the five community boards that border Central Park as well as to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. Parks officials will be seeking public comments from community members on its plans.
Community board members do not expect the restaurant to open next year, because of the extensive capital improvements that are needed at the 77-year-old building.
But there is great interest about what happens to the restaurant, said a community board member. Nearby residents are wary of the restaurant attracting big, noisy events, as it did in the past, and becoming a tourist destination.
“We expect to have a lively discussion about it,” said the board member.
Like its previous RFP issued in February 2009, the city is seeking an operator for a 20-year term.
Tavern on the Green has been closed since January 2010. Part of the building has since been converted into a visitor center.
The city confirmed that it is ready to find a restaurateur to run the historic eatery.
Crain's New York Business - November 4, 2011 - By Lisa Fickenscher
A Walk In The Park - January 27, 2011
A Walk In The Park - October 15, 2010 - By Geoffrey Croft
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