Take a guess as to the #1 restaurant east of Las Vegas last year; do you know it? Joe’s Stone Crab (I had to look it up too btw).
I used to know what it was; I knew what it was in 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, an on and on- The answer? Tavern on the Green.
Tavern on the Green in NYC’s Central Park along Central Park West. Revenue in 2007? $38M! Number of diners per year? Half a million! Taxes and fees paid to NYC and NY state? A buttload! Number of employees? 400! 400 good paying jobs at a $38M/year business that had been successful for decades.
Since 2009? Zero. Zip. Bubkes on all fronts. Why? Well, the restaurant sits on city land so they are in effect, the landlords. The city’s “experts” essentially decided to end the long successful partnership with the family that ran Tavern because they thought they could get a “better deal” for the city. Better deal??? This is perhaps the biggest waste in New York since the ill-fated Hamptons Subway system was built and never used.
The restaurant experts presiding over this mess (and responsible for making the decision to boot the group that ran it for decades)? The Parks Department of course. Yes, the NYC Parks Department!
Flash forward to today… going on 3 years and counting of all zeros at the former #1 independent restaurant in the world. All this was done as NYC was (and is), struggling with the impacts of a crushing recession, including high unemployment and budget troubles. The latest update? Parks officials, for their part, say only that “the selection process is still ongoing.”
The NYC Parks Department??? Really? Clearly Uncle Leo’s son Jeffrey has been promoted and now runs the Department. Hey Mayor Bloomberg: message to you and your Parks Department and Cousin Jeffrey…, “Hello!!!”