New Yorkers spent weeks mourning the closing of the iconic Loeb Boathouse in Central Park back in October but it turns out that those tears were for nothing as mayor Eric Adams just announced that there are plans to re-open the space in all of its glory.
During a press conference earlier today, the politician revealed that the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation is looking to award Legends Hospitality with a 10-year lease that will allow the group to operate the restaurant, snack bar and rowboat rental venue. Considering that the selected hospitality venture is the same one that’s behind operations at Yankee Stadium, we’re sure the would-be iteration of Loeb Boathouse will be a grandiose one.
The Franchise & Concession Review Committee (FCRC) will have to review and approve the deal. If confirmed, the venue will re-open to the public this summer.
According to an official press release, Legends Hospitality has committed to a $3,250,000 capital investment alongside a $250,000 budget for structural maintenance improvements like public restroom renovations and upgraded patio service. Gothamist also reports that “the proposal requires Legends to reopen the boathouse to the public by June, and charges the company a minimum of $750,000 a year, plus a certain percentage of sales.”
More details have already been announced as well, including a completely revamped menu and updates to the boat rental program (think an online booking system and credit card payment options).
“The Central Park Boathouse has been a landmark for generations of New Yorkers,” mayor Adams said during the press conference. “When it closed last year, many worried about its future, but our administration moved quickly to keep this piece of New York City history alive. Thanks to the fast work of NYC Parks, we’ve selected a new operator so the Boathouse can come back better than ever, ensuring tourists and New Yorkers alike can enjoy this beautiful space and scenery once again.”
The Loeb Boathouse has a long and storied history in New York. Named after investment banker Carl M. Loeb, who also funded its construction, the eatery opened back in 1954 and quickly rose to fame both within the city’s culinary scene and as a popular event location.
The restaurant was also featured in countless New York-based films and TV productions, including When Harry Met Sally, The Manchurian Candidate, 27 Dresses and Sex and the City (we could never forget Carrie Bradshaw’s swim in the nearby pond!).
Like plenty of other local destinations, the Boathouse closed due to COVID-19 in October 2020 but re-opened to much fanfare in March of 2021. Sadly, citing sub-par economic conditions, the former owners announced the closing of the venue in October of last year.
But that’s all history. The Boathouse is clearly making a comeback—and we couldn’t be happier about it.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.