Oh no! I’m so heartbroken today. I just found out that one of the great landmark restaurants in New York City is closed – Tavern on the Green. This place was legendary! It’s the first restaurant allowed in Central Park. Tommy and I were lucky enough to have had the chance to dine there. It was a magical place. We celebrated my birthday there last year. It was one of the places I had always wanted to go to. Our table wasn’t quite ready when we arrived, (we got to the restaurant about a half hour early) so we walked around the restaurant and saw the sights and sounds. We walked around the gardens and saw all the neat topiary plants: the King Kong, the swans, the bunny, and the marble grand pianos.
Being in February, it was chilly out, so we did the quick tourist thing and took some pictures and rushed back inside where it was warm. He’s always teasing me, “Stop taking pictures of the parking lot, Wang” (It’s a quote from Caddyshack) haha. So we decided to go to the bar and have a drink or two. The most beautiful stained glass I’ve seen was hanging right over the bar. I had to take another picture!!! I just loved the colors and the lady with the lion.
We had a couple drinks before being escorted to our table. The restaurant was packed!!! Every table was full! There were couples having a nice dinner to larger groups having a celebration! There was even a Wedding reception happening in the beautiful Crystal room. 🙂 Not too long after our bottle of wine was delivered to the table, a photographer came to our table to take a souvenir picture of us. We thought that was cheesy, but now, I wish I had gotten the picture. 🙂 We ordered dinner and all I can remember was how amazing the food was and what amazing conversation Tommy and I had that night. I truly was a magical place for us. I am sad to know that the restaurant is closed and that virtually everything will be auctioned off… including the emerald chandelier and the topiaries. The restaurant has been leased to another restaurant owner Dean Poll and he said that he will spend $25m in renovations. The original family, the LeRoys are trying to keep the name. Warner LeRoy was the son of the producer of the Wizard of Oz. I don’t think it’ll be the same, but let’s hope the renovations keep some of the magic that is the Tavern on the Green.
Some interesting info:
he Tavern on the Green, once America’s largest restaurant, opened in 1934 as the first restaurant to open in Central Park.
The Tavern became New York’s highest-grossing restaurant, with 2008 takings of $33 million — second in the United States only to the Tao Las Vegas restaurant and nightclub.