Philly Guys Remaking Tavern on the Green

The new Tavern on the Green logo. It was a process to get here.

The new Tavern on the Green logo. It was a process to get here.

The New York Times goes flatware shopping with Philadelphia’s Jim Caiola and David Salama, the couple behind the latest incarnation of New York’s famed Tavern on the Green. The restaurant is scheduled to open in late December but the pair obviously has their work cut out for them.

Moreover, Tavern on the Green seems fraught as an investment, especially for independent owners with limited means, like Caiola and Salama. Their holding company will owe the city a licensing fee of at least $1 million next year, or 6 percent of the total sales, whichever is greater. That figure already dwarfs the 3.5 percent the LeRoy family paid each year during its tenure, and Caiola and Salama’s rent will only go up from there. By 2033, Tavern on the Green will owe the city at least $3.3 million, or 15.5 percent of sales.

In order to comfortably afford those payments — and to avoid having to raise more money to pay the city — Caiola’s initial projection for next year called for Tavern on the Green to take in more than $17 million, serving 600 sit-down meals a day on weekdays and 1,200 on weekends with an average restaurant check of $50 per person, not including tax and tip. That’s quite a step up from Creperie Beau Monde, which, according to Caiola, makes a comfortable profit on about $2 million a year.

Remaking Tavern on the Green, One Fork at a Time [New York Times]