The Parks Department is seeking a new proprietor for the historic, now shuttered Tavern on the Green. But what exactly should replace the once-proud home of graduation, wedding and anniversary dinners, has set off a bit of a feeding frenzy--and an angry debate between two neighborhoods and their community boards.
The Upper West Side's community Board 7 said that want the Tavern on the Green to be an affordable restaurant for all residents. However, the Upper East Side's Community Board 8 expressed their anger at the Parks Department, which sought to a casual dining atmosphere to the location.
They rather like the formality of the old Tavern on the Green, the Parks Department's Director of Concessions Charles Kloth told Community Board 7 members on Monday, according to DNAinfo.com. It was an iconic place and they miss it.
Community Board 7 is pushing for the casual dining atmosphere that Central Park joggers can stop in for a bite to eat. The Upper West Side wants the restaurant fully open to the public with accessible bathrooms, no private tents, and no private parking spots for limos.
A piece of Central Park should not be licensed to a concessionaire to have private parking, said Klari Neuwelt, Community Board 7 Parks Committee chair, according to DNAinfo.com. The idea that you should let people park these private cars and limousines in Central Park--no.
Parks officials agree with this idea, hoping to make it a smaller and casual restaurant than its previous incarnation. They want to include more people, who gather in the park, in the restaurant's clientele.
The new Tavern will be a much reduced Tavern. It's going to be a smaller, much more casual restaurant. We want it to be integrated into the park life, said Kloth.