The Boathouse in Central Park may be closed for good

Posted On Mon, October 5, 2020 By

Posted On Mon, October 5, 2020 By In Restaurants, Upper East Side

Photo by Ajay Suresh via Wikimedia Commons

Central Park’s Loeb Boathouse may be closing for good, reports The City. 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. According to The City, the venue’s owner furloughed the Boathouse’s 163 workers in March, but a recent Department of Labor notice says 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), as well as large events like weddings. Even with outdoor dining extended and indoor dining currently operating at 25-percent capacity, the Boathouse will have a hard time with tourism so low and large gatherings still not permitted.

Dean Poll operates the Poll Group, which also includes Gallagher’s Steakhouse, where indoor dining did resume on September 30. He and the Poll Group did not respond to The City’s request for comment.

[Via The City]

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