Four years since its last seating, the legendary Tavern on the Green will once again shine for the public. Nestled at the western edge of Central Park, the restaurant will be reopening under the watchful eyes of Jim Caiola and David Salama, the Philadelphia-based restaurateurs who won the bid for a city-issued contract to run the space, and chef Katy Sparks, formerly of the Quilted Giraffe and Mesa Grill.
“This is the best location for a restaurant because everyone in the world is here,” Caiola says, “and they’re having these celebratory moments.”
There will be plenty of celebrating when the restaurant, which first opened in 1934, is back in business. Boasting three dining rooms as well as an Apple Store-like glass box where the famed Crystal Room once was, the restaurant will keep its focus on high-end American cuisine, but with a more approachable, neighborhood vibe.
“Katy takes the best ingredients and does very little to them,” Caiola explains. “Our wine list will be extraordinary but very simple, and the same goes for cocktails.” Although most aspects of Tavern on the Green, from the menu to the decor, will be updated, there’s one thing that Caiola wouldn’t dream of changing. “The element of magic,” he says, “is what I want to keep.”