After years of protests and a long, drawn-out lawsuit, the city is moving forward with a plan to convert a large part of the 80-year-old Pavilion in Union Square park into a restaurant. The Parks Department recently put out a request for proposals to operate a seasonal café in the park's refurbished pavilion; the deadline is in two months. According to the Post, the winning bidder would secure a 15-year contract to run the private café six months out of the year, and also have the option to operate a satellite cart or kiosk.

Opponents like the Union Square Community Coalition have fiercely fought what they see as the privatization of park space in a neighborhood with an abundance of restaurants. Some speculated that one anonymous donor giving $5 million to fund the pavilion renovation was none other than Danny Meyer; and theorized that the restaurateur would be secretly favored to win the bid. Meyer is also co-chair of the Union Square Partnership’s Local Development Corporation, so he actually signed an affidavit "flatly denying that he is the anonymous donor, or that he will bid on the restaurant concession." So no Shake Shack; but fingers crossed for another TGI Fridays!