After speculation that Central Park’s beloved Loeb Boathouse would be closed for good, West Side Rag reports that the venue will reopen on March 29 for lunch, brunch, and private events. Even their famous rowboats rentals will be available. The boathouse announced the news on Instagram, the first time they’ve posted since last April. The lakeside restaurant and event venue has been in business since 1954 and is not only an iconic spot for New Yorkers, but it’s been featured in films like When Harry Met Sally and 27 Dresses.
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In October, we reported that the Boathouse may be closing for good. The City had explained that the venue’s owner furloughed their 163 workers in March, but an October Department of Labor notice said that the layoffs “will now be considered permanent” due to “unforeseeable business circumstances prompted by COVID-19.”
Less than three years ago, the Central Park Boathouse reopened after a $2.9 million renovation, which was a stipulation of owner Dean Poll’s 2017 license agreement with the Department of Parks & Recreation. As 6sqft explained at the time, “The boathouse… pays the city an annual fee of up to $1.702 million or 7.2 percent of gross annual receipts (whichever of those is the greater amount) up to $22 million. Percentages rise when revenues top $22 million.” Poll had said that he exceeds $22 million every year, and according to The City, he owes the Parks Department $23.9 million. Parks Department spokesperson Megan Moriarty, however, told The City, “The restaurant has been closed since March, and we haven’t been charging the monthly license fees since then.”
Much of the Boathouse’s revenue comes from tourists, who dine at the restaurant or take rides in the famous rowboats that they operate (this has also been shut down since March), as well as large events like weddings. But with warmer weather upon us and indoor dining and weddings now permitted, things look more promising. As of the time of publication, the first available reservations are on Monday, April 5. And all weekend time slots are booked through April. You can make a reservation here >>
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on October 5, 2020, and has been updated with new information.
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