By Jennifer R Jones | Posted on September 03, 2009 11:00 AM
New York City’s famed Tavern on the Green restaurant—often noted more for its extraordinary décor and location in Cental Park than for its food—is changing hands. Dean Poll, who runs the Boathouse restaurant in Central Park, was chosen by the Parks Department last week to take over the restaurant, starting in January. Department officials say he submitted the most impressive proposal for the 20-year license. A number of well-known names in the restaurant business either pulled out of the running for the license or never made a bid, including Danny Meyer (of Gramercy Tavern and Blue Smoke), who had initially showed interest. While Tavern on the Green was at one time one of the most profitable independent restaurants in the country, its revenues have soured along with the economy. The 25-million capital investment will cover a renovation that includes adding banquet rooms; an outdoor café serving sandwiches and snacks; and a club room. Green technology will also be incorporated. Poll is taking over the license from the LeRoy family, which started the restaurant in 1974. Interestingly, the name is still controlled by Jennifer LeRoy, and it could cost Poll many millions of dollars if he wants to keep using it. Tavern on the Green is located in Central Park, near West 67th Street.