NYC’s Central Park Loeb Boathouse will permanently close this fall

Today is a sad day in New York: Patch reports that the iconic restaurant at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park will permanently close on October 16.

According to the outlet, owner Dean Poll filed a notice with the state, citing economic conditions as the reason for closure. Unfortunately, as explained in the notice, all 163 employees will be laid off by the fall.

“The Boathouse is a beloved place in the city of New York, for New Yorkers and tourists alike—but the current economic situation does not permit it to sustain itself,” Poll said to Patch. “I’ve been there for 21 years. The economics just don’t work anymore.”

Perhaps surprisingly, the owner made it a point to explain that COVID-19 didn’t play a significant role in his decision to shutter the business. “The volume was there but the expenses just eat away at it,” he explained. 

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, just a bit over a year later, the eatery will forever close.

Patch reports that the Parks Department is planning on engaging “a future operator as soon as possible” to take over the space while also trying to accommodate folks who have an event already scheduled at the Boathouse. 

Of course, restaurants are constantly opening and shuttering in New York, where residents are used to the sudden mourning of a once-favorite eatery (hi, Hale & Hearty), but there is something about the historical venue that tugs at the heartstrings and makes this particular closure a bit sadder than the rest.

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