It’s been a few weeks since we last heard any rumblings from Central Park, but make no mistake: Like leaking oil and America’s Next Top Model reruns, the Tavern on the Green saga continues.
The latest installment in the saga, per The New York Times, has former and would-be operators circling the restaurant with plans for its glorious resurrection. One proposal comes from Tavern’s former operator, Jennifer Oz LeRoy, who wants to tear out the Crystal Room (which her father, Warner LeRoy, installed) and rebuild it in the rear of the building. LeRoy also wants to lose the ring of trees and animal-shaped shrubbery that were originally installed to obscure diners’ views of the less savory shenanigans that pervaded the park in 1976.
Donald Trump is also interested in taking over the restaurant, as are the Cipriani family and Seth Greenberg, the owner of Capitale. While the parks department has indicated that it would like to see the building’s redesign emphasize its original history as a sheepfold, there seems to be consensus that any plan is better than the one the city has in place, which is to use the restaurant as a gift shop and information center until the new operator takes over.
“To turn a great restaurant that was a major city destination into a tchotchke shop is degrading to the park,” Henry J. Stern, the former parks commissioner, told the Times. And while what it was serving may not actually have been all that great, Tavern certainly deserves more than “I Heart NY” onesies and key chains.