Tavern On The Green: A History

A little history lesson on New York’s most famous restaurant.

1. Tavern on the Green opened its doors in 1934.

2. It was originally built as a sheepfold.

3. But Park Commissioner Robert Moses didn’t let it look like a barn when it opened.

Moses (left) with Mayor LaGuardia (right).

Opening day in 1934.

5. The restaurant became an immediate draw for locals and tourists alike.

Dinner dancing in 1963.

6. The LeRoys

The restaurant changed ownership several times between its opening and the 1970s. The LeRoy family acquired Tavern on the Green in the 1970s and operated the restaurant for 35 years.

7. The LeRoys developed the venue into a world-class event space.

They added the iconic crystal room in 1976.

Casual bread-basket weaving.

The introduction of epic topiaries.

10. Tavern on the Green hit pop culture status in the 1980s.

John Lennon celebrated his 40th birthday at Tavern on the Green with his son, Sean.

Laurence S. Rockefeller hanging out in 1984.

The sneaky people at Folgers swapped out the Tavern’s fancy coffee with their coffee crystals once.

13. T.V. and movies love Tavern on the Green!

Perhaps you’re familiar with this scene in one of the greatest films of all time, Ghostbusters?

16. So does music.

“I go to Tavern on the Green and have a glass of wine…”

17. Tavern on the Green will re-open at the end of this year for a new generation of New Yorkers and tourists to enjoy.

18. There will be new owners, a new chef, and a new menu.

The focus of this new Tavern on the Green concept is to create a family-friendly environment that attracts locals and tourists alike, hearkening to the restaurant’s original roots as a tavern.

The conceptual design for Tavern on the Green’s reopening

20. The new chef is the brilliant, award-winning Katy Sparks.

The Journey / Via altaeditions.com

Katy has worked at Manhattan staples like The Quilted Giraffe and even helped Bobby Flay open Mesa Grill.

21. Katy, along with new owners Jim Caiola and David Salama, have had a heavy hand in recreating Tavern on the Green.

The New York Times tagged along as the three made final decisions on flatware and China, as seen in this great article:

22. Katy is also part of a new digital cookbook called The Journey, which will be released at the end of this month.

The Journey / Via altaeditions.com

Katy’s recipes in The Journey show the flavors that she will use to re-invigorate the landmark Tavern on the Green.

23. We look forward to seeing what Katy does at this classic New York restaurant!

To learn more about Katy’s recipes in The Journey, visit altaeditions.com

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