For locals and visitors alike, your one-stop date night is right here in New York’s backyard, America’s favorite playground, our timeless Central Park. Dearest locals, you live in the technological rumble of present day New York with the subways and trains, the incognizant millennials walking with their faces glued to their phone screens (and some adults- we see you), the incessant and obnoxious honking of impatient drivers weaving through the city streets, and all the other crazy buzzing occurring all day, everyday. Therefore, we urge you now, to take advantage of the opportunity to ride in a horse drawn carriage, just you and your company of choice, through the bountiful woods of Central Park to have the most divine dinner at Tavern on the Green. This date night experience will allow you to forget about the madness of other people and the demand for multi-faceted phone communication. This date epitomizes the perfect balance of minimalist character and grandiose presentation, thus making you feel like a dazzling million dollars.
While most people don’t associate Hollywood glamour with New York City, Tavern on the Green is soaked in its glitzy history. In order to divulge the full Hollywood dish, we need to start from the beginning. The restaurant was first built in 1870 as a sheepfold for the sheep grazing in the meadow: the dazzling eatery as we know it today did not become a restaurant until 1934. Warner LeRoy took the restaurant over in 1974 and made it an instant success. How did he do it? Well let’s take a peek at his family history…As it turns out, LeRoy was the son of an acclaimed film director/producer Mervyn LeRoy (who produced the immaculate The Wizard of Oz) and was the grandson of Harry Warner, one of the founders of Warner Bros. Studios (juicy, right??)- apparently the East coast and West coast are closer than we thought. Considering his exciting family connections, LeRoy thus brought the flurry and enticement of the film industry directly to the restaurant’s doorstep and “Voila!” the esteemed and delectable Tavern on the Green was reborn. LeRoy was also responsible for The Crystal Room: the beautiful glass enclosed dining room that draws guests in from thousands of miles away. The room was also featured in the 1984 Ghostbusters where actor Rick Moranis runs up to the glass, banging on the windows and is ignored by the restaurant’s patrons.
The film industry cannot stay away from this star-studded, Hollywood-glamour-magnet of a restaurant. Tavern on the Green has had dozens of cameos in films throughout the years including Hitch (who doesn’t love some Will Smith?), Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Wall Street, The-Out-of-Towners, and even the new hit show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. No matter how much time passes, this restaurant continues to be a Hollywood starlet with a New York edge . Its reputation as “the place to be” has progressed over the years and continues to attract stars from all over the world and from our very own New York neighborhoods. Back in the day, the iconic Grace Kelly frequented the establishment as well as the former Beatles star John Lennon. Other celebrities spotted include Al Pacino (apparently he was a huge fan of the hot chocolate), Robert DiNiro, and Regis Philbin- and this was just a sample of the restaurant’s regulars: who knows how many celebrities slipped in past our watch!
Indubitably, with all of the history of prestigious cameos and Hollywood appeal, Tavern on the Green remains a very special destination for locals and tourist alike. Having a horse and carriage take you through the park and drop you off at this exceptional dining destination is an experience that cannot be imitated anywhere else. So turn your cell phone off, put on that faux fur coat you’ve been hiding in the closet and strap on those bedazzled heels you bought on a whim at that hidden vintage shop and get ready to have the most rewarding date night of your life. It’s time for you to be the starlet in your own life and behave like this dream evening has been waiting just for you, because it has. Tavern on the Green has a reputation filled with timeless adventure and glamour, so let’s say we step onto a horse and carriage and add to it.