OK. This is officially from the Department of Whoa, We Never Saw This One Coming. New York City’s Department of Parks and Recreation is currently accepting bids for a 20-year license to operate a bar and restaurant on the site of the former Tavern On the Green, which for the majority of the 20th Century was a prime destination dining spot in Central Park but later became known as a bankrupt tourist trap.
Donald Trump passed. (“Nobody is going to go there,” he told the New York Times.) Drew Nieporent of Nobu expressed interest and took a tour, as did folks from the Oriental-Express hotels. But only two entities are known to have submitted formal bids: the company that does the catering at Yankee Stadium (bo-ring) and the people behind Philadelphia’s own Beau Monde, the popular Queen Village creperie. The Parks & Recreation Department won’t say how many other (if any) bids it has received. “We’ve made the short list,” confirms Beau Monde co-owner Jim Caiola, who declined to elaborate.