Bidders Tour the Tavern

Next month, interested parties must decide whether to compete for operating license

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tavern on the Green remains one of the country’s most lucrative independent restaurants -- a selling point for its new lease-holder.

    Potential bidders to take over the lease at the landmark Tavern on the Green had their last chance Tuesday to tour the restaurant.

    Next month, interested parties must decide whether to compete for the operating license of the 25,000-square-foot restaurant in Central Park.

    About 150 potential bidders, architects and advisers have participated in the handful of tours. The Department of Parks and Recreation has made clear that the ritzy décor of the Tavern is not included in the new lease terms.

    In February, the department put out a formal request for bidders to take over the Tavern’s 25-year license, which will expire on Dec. 31. The bidders have until May 1 to submit their proposals and their $50,000 bid deposits to the city.

    Even with the economic downturn, Tavern on the Green remains one of the country’s most lucrative independent restaurants.  According to Restaurant & Institutions, Tavern was the second-highest-grossing restaurant in 2008, bringing in about $34 million.