The historic Tavern on the Green in Central Park off of 67th Street has been a visitor’s center and food truck parking lot for more than a year, but the center closes today.

What’s next?

A $9.8 million renovation. And then a restaurant, supposedly.

The saga of Tavern on the Green has been marked by bankruptcy, wasted money, and union battles for the past few years. At least two operators have bid to run the restaurant, which the city says will become a casual eatery, unlike its glitzy (and yes, pretty cheesy) past. The legendary Crystal Room is gone, and will be replaced by a larger outdoor seating area and a glass box, as depicted above and in greater detail below by Swanke Hayden Connell Architects (the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the box and it’s expected to be completed by the middle of next year).

The Central Park Conservancy says that people will still be able to get maps at the Tavern, although it’s unclear how that will work.

What exactly the new Tavern will look like is unclear. The more important question might be: will anyone eat there?

Images via Landmark West.

    1. marc g says:

      Somewhat sad news about Tavern. It was my first job when I came to New York in the late 70’s. Back then it was a real New York Treasure. I remember waiting on stars like, Celeste Holm, Elizabeth Taylor, Princess Grace, and many others. I believe their demise was mostly due to the economy tanking. I am not sure that the city’s plans will work; shrinking the size considerably, taking away the parking lot and more. Also the unions will continue to be an obstacle to their success. We shall see.

    2. davewalke says:

      in july, 2000, we had the option of eating at tavern on the green or windows on the world. my wife (who passed away 4 months ago) easily chose tavern on the green,just to see the lanterns in the trees and the “airport designed by Lewis Carroll”. it was pooring down rain and the park had recently been closed due to spraying for west nile virus. none of us were dressed for the occasion and we were soaking wet. Still, in all, it was a great, and memorable, occasion…NO idea what we ordered. my wife was very sad to hear about its first closing a couple years back