Main | Monday, November 26, 2012

NEW YORK CITY: Philly Gay Couple To Reopen Tavern On The Green

Crain's New York Business profiles the well-connected Philadelphia gay couple who will re-open Central Park's legendary Tavern On The Green, which closed in bankruptcy in 2009 after almost 75 years in business.
Philadelphia restaurateurs Jim Caiola and David Salama celebrated this summer when they were selected by the Bloomberg administration over several local heavyweights to run Tavern on the Green. But their joy was quickly tempered by a torrent of criticism about their qualifications. [snip] The attacks stung the partners, who have not responded to their critics—until now. "It feels like we are cleaning up a mess rather than starting over," said Mr. Caiola, referring not only to the charges of nepotism but also to their extensive plans to reopen the Central Park eatery in November 2013 after a four-year hiatus. Mr. Caiola, 49, was a filmmaker before entering the restaurant business in 1998. Mr. Salama, 48, studied fine arts in his 20s and then took on the role of chef at their crêperie, Beau Monde. The partners, a couple who are raising two adopted children, come to New York once a week to survey ongoing renovations and plan their work. They will move here in the coming months. "What we bring to the table is real positive, maybe naive, energy," Mr. Caiola said.
Tavern On The Green was often the highest-grossing restaurant in the nation with annual revenues reaching as high as $38M.  Since its 2009 closure the city has run it as a visitors' center with gourmet food trucks parked outside. (Tipped by JMG reader Alan)

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