NEW YORK — The iconic Tavern On the Green is set to re-open on Friday, but not in its famous glitzy dining style. Instead, the once must-see tourist attraction in Central Park will be a gift shop and visitors center. It also will be supplying some fuel for a mini-controversy.
The subject: Selling a variety of alcoholic drinks from fancy-food trucks parked outside. That isn’t sitting well with local residents and Community Board 7 members. They say selling alcohol could lead to underage drinking and people walking in the park with, in effect, open containers.
However, says Burak Karacam, owner of one of the four food trucks that will operate on the Tavern terrace, says: “If somebody wants to enjoy a coffee with a shot of Bailey’s in it, we have to be able to serve that.”
The city, which owns the property, still is seeking a restaurateur to take over the Tavern On the Green space. While that glacially-paced process grinds away, the Parks Department has signed up Karacam’s Pera along with Ladle of Love, Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream and Rickshaw Dumpling Truck to satisfy customers just outside the building. The city says drinking will be permitted only in the terrace area. Trucks must leave by 10 p.m. and no music will be allowed.
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