Will Tavern on the Green's money problems never end? The restaurant, which closed not long after its original owners filed for bankruptcy in 2009, draining city resources; now, its new operators say they don't have enough cash to operate when they open later this year. Can they just gut this place and build a giant slide already?
The new Tavern on the Green is being operated by Philadelphia's Emerald Green Group, and has been advertised as a "casual restaurant and cafe" with a menu spearheaded by celebrity chef Katy Sparks. But insiders say they're reportedly asking around to help drum up the money flow to pay for food, labor and utilities. "Their backer is not coming up with as much [cash] as they expected, so they are looking for extra funds," Emerald Green Group's spokesman, Steven Hall, told the Post.
Tavern on the Green's renaissance has not come cheap. The city's spending $10 million to restore the space to its original 19th century grandeur, along with extensive landscaping. Emerald Group is also forking over $10 million for its own renovations, plus they'll be handing over a percentage of their revenue to the Parks Department annually, leaving little extra cash to pay operating costs. But the restaurant's money problems haven't yet kept plans from going ahead: they've got a tentative menu up, and are shooting to reopen next November or December.