The 400 union employees at Tavern on the Green are facing the prospect of joblessness during the holiday season, because the restaurant's owners says they can't turn over the lease on January 1st without closing before December. So Tavern's operating company has asked for a temporary restraining order in US Bankruptcy Court that would permit them to delay the changeover for 90 days after January 1st, enabling the restaurant to operate during the lucrative month of December, and then conduct an onsite auction of their assets, which were valued by an appraiser at $8.171 million. But the new leaseholder isn't having it.

Dean Poll, who runs the Boathouse restaurant in Central Park and won the lease to the 19th century sheepfold currently called Tavern on the Green, says that he wanted to renovate the place in phases over a period of four years while keeping the restaurant and the banquet hall open. But his lawyer tells the Times a three-month delay would make a lengthier closing for construction work necessary, vowing that Poll would give "serious consideration to closing the restaurant for two years while he undertakes renovation work."

Previously, Poll told Tavern's workers he would not honor the previous labor contract, and employees vowed to protest. Peter Ward, the union leader who represents Tavern’s workers, says the union supports Tavern’s motion for an extension: "It is clear that it is in the best interest of the creditors — and the 400 hardworking New York City residents who work at Tavern on the Green and who certainly don’t need to be thrown out on the streets during holiday time."