16 April 2009

Don't Let's Change the Name of Tavern on the Green

It's cheesy. It's touristy. We only go there when our mothers make us. But, goddammit, it's a landmark, a one of kind thing only found in one location in one city: New York. So, please, let's not fuck around with Tavern on the Green.

The money-making Central Park restaurant has been much in the news lately, if you haven't noticed, since everyone and their brother is setting themselves up to big on its lease. The LeRoy family has operated it for 25 years, but their license expires at the end of this year, and the City (which owns the property) is fishing around for more money that the 3.5% of their gross receipts it's been getting from the Leroys. So, everyone's jumped into the fray, including all the muy-importante, big-deal restaurateurs who alway jump into the fray when something big comes along.

But City Room dropped the bomb this week that if the LeRoys exit the game, they're going to take their ball with them. They will tip down all the twinkly decor, which they own, AND the name of the place. They apparently own the rights to the name "Tavern on the Green." So basically what the City is offering the new bidders is a bare, stripped, old wooden hull of a building that has no name. Huh.

Stop me if I'm wrong, but the reason tourists love the joint—and the reason it rakes in millions every year and is the location of so many private parties—is because it looks like a fantasy landscape, with mirrors and lights and chandeliers everywhere. Right? And the reason tourists know to go to it is due to its world-famous name: Tavern on the Green.

If it doesn't look like a Christmas tree and isn't called Tavern on the Green, will it make nearly as much money for a restaurateur?

Now, why is the City expected to get more money, now?

1 comment:

joy said...

Whoa. I've never been a huge fan of their menu, but seriously, who will go to a Tavern that's not on the Green? That's crazy.

Although speaking of landmarks of a sort, I will say that yesterday afternoon, outside of Tribeca Cinemas, a poor tourist with a piece of scribbled on scrap paper in hand, asked a group of people milling about...where the Moondance Diner was.

Very, very sad.