New York Icon Tavern on the Green Finally Finds Owner

Philadelphia's Emerald Green Group will be opening the historic restaurant
Tavern on the Green

After what seemed like years of people bidding (and backing out of bids) on the Tavern on the Green restaurant in New York City's Central Park, the historic space finally has an owner.

The Emerald Group (of Philadelphia's Beau Monde and L'Etage) is getting a 20-year license to take over the approximately 75-year-old historic restaurant. Katy Sparks (former sous-chef at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill) will helm the kitchen.

"[The restaurant will serve] American food, local, sustainable, organic whenever possible," a Emerald Group representative told us. "It’ll be very fresh, and [Sparks'] food is very colorful, with a lot of plant-based items."

The restaurant, at Sheep's Meadow near 67th Street, is slated to include a restaurant area, bar, and a 200- to 300-seat outdoor café, plus takeout. "They want it to be restored as a neighborhood restaurant for New Yorkers just as much as restaurants for people to come to from out of town," a representative said. Expect the new space to open in fall 2013, with some serious movie filming lined up.