The Central Park Boathouse is close to reopening after shuttering in 2022. It’s now in the hands of the same catering company, Legends, that oversees the food options at Yankee Stadium. Dave Pasternack, former Chef at the iconic Italian seafood spot, Esca, is consulting on the menu that includes oysters Rockefeller, beef au poivre, and Yorkshire pudding.  Last summer, the cafe portion reopened to rave reviews and lines of happy park-goers.

The Loeb Boathouse, a Central Park restaurant destination famous for scenes in When Harry Met Sally and Sex and the City, closed last year due to rising costs of business after 40 years in operation as a restaurant and event space.

An iconic New York City landmark, it fell victim to the post-pandemic economy.  However, it will get new life under Legends Hospitality, the stadium and food-services operator founded by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

Legends, now majority owned by investment firm Sixth Street Partners LLC with stakes by Jones and Yankee Global Enterprises, pledged to make $3.5 million in improvements in the property. Legends also operates One World Observatory, the Intrepid museum, Circle Line cruises and Oculus Beer Garden in New York.

The reopening of the boathouse is good news for more than the tourists and couples planning romantic boat rides. Legends will employ an estimated 200 union workers, welcoming back many who were laid off when the business shut down.

“These workers not only get to keep their jobs but get to keep their hard-fought union contract,” said Rich Maroko, president of the Hotel and Gaming Trades Council, the union representing the boathouse workers.

The boathouse has served New Yorkers since the 19th century, first providing a space for actual boat storage until it took on the name of its benefactors Carl and Adeline Loeb in the early 1950s. The Loebs donated $305,000 to renovate the building, and in 1954 it opened as the recognizable tourist attraction and rom-com background it is today.

The restaurant, which opened in 1983, closed in October, with the former operator citing rising labor and cost of goods.

Central Park Boathouse

Things To Do

From The Philharmonic on the Great Lawn to Shakespeare in the Park to SummerStage, Central Park offers an endless array of things to do, see, hear – and, with two full service restaurants and several cafes, taste.  You can visit The Shakespeare Garden, take in a performance at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, take a ride on the Carousel – or just sit and people watch at Bethesda Terrace!

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