Two months after revealing that it had found a new operator for the currently shuttered Loeb Boathouse in Central Park, the contract between NYC Parks and Legends Hospitality was officially inked Monday, putting the iconic venue on a path to reopen this summer.
The agreement puts Legends, which currently operates the observatory at One World Trade Center, as well as concessions at Yankee Stadium and the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, in charge of the venue for the next 10 years, at a minimum cost of $750,000 annually — a license fee paid to the City that increases as the company brings in more revenue.
Legends Hospitality will spend a total of $3.2 million in upgrades on the historic structure, including a renovation and expansion of the boathouse’s public restrooms, as well as building a connection between the upper and lower outdoor dining patios to increase accessibility for disabled customers.
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Improvements also include a possible relocation of an outdoor bar “to open up views from the pathways to the pond,” in addition to the building’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems which will become more efficient and sustainable.
The contract with Legends Hospitality says that boathouse renovations could be complete and the boathouse will be available for use by the public once again starting June 1st, though that date could be moved up or pushed back. first reported the contract’s signing.
Along with the return of the boathouse’s restaurant comes a brand-new menu — created in collaboration with unspecified ‘celebrity chefs’ —which features a pan-roasted cauliflower entree made with salsa verde for $28 and mushroom toast served with wilted spinach, scrambled eggs and hollandaise sauce for $23.
Located on the eastern shore of the Central Park Lake, The Loeb Boathouse first opened more than 150 years ago and was rebuilt into its current form back in 1952.
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The restaurant and snack bar shut down last October after the previous operator announced it would lay off 163 employees, blaming rising costs and shrinking profit margins.
When reached by Upper East Site, NYC Parks would only say that Central Park’s Loeb Boathouse is reopening this summer.
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