The End of the Landmark Eatery Era?


(photo courtesy

The fates of two of the city’s landmark restaurants are growing ever bleaker. An untold number of tourists may soon be hungry and disappointed. It seems the Rainbow Room drama has come to an end. Court documents show that the Cipriani family has agreed to clear out of the legendary restaurant by August 1st in a settlement with landlords Rockefeller Center Properties and Tishman Speyer. The landlords moved to evict the Ciprianis at the end of last year for unpaid rent; they say they’ll continue to keep the fabled space open as a restaurant and event space, but the Ciprianis say there are plans to convert it to offices.

Meanwhile the city is offering up the Tavern on the Green space to the highest bidder. The Parks Department put out a request for proposals yesterday for those interested in taking over the operating contract. Current operator Jennifer LeRoy’s contract expires at the end of the year; the Tavern’s chief operating officer, Michael Desiderio, says the LeRoy’s “have every intention of working with the city to continue” operating the place. But the family, who have run the restaurant since 1974, may encounter a bidding war with a number of parties said to be interested in the space. Further complicating things for the Tavern, a meat supplier just filed suit against the restaurant saying they’re owed $90,000 for unpaid deliveries of beef and chicken to the Central Park eatery.


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