After threatening to lay off some 400 employees during the lucrative holiday season, Tavern on the Green has been granted a reprieve. The city had ordered owners to vacate the premises on January 1st and turn over the lease, but owners insisted that deadline would have required them to close down in December, in order to conduct an onsite auction of their assets, which were valued by an appraiser at $8.171 million. Though Tavern's owners had wanted three months for the changeover, a US Bankruptcy Court judge in Manhattan said "two weeks to a month" in January would be "a reasonable transition period." But will the new occupant play along?

Dean Poll, who runs the Boathouse in Central Park and will soon add the 19th century sheepfold to his portfolio, had threatened to close the restaurant for two years of renovations if Tavern was given an extension. His lawyer told the Times today, "The judge made clear that a transition for a very brief time was understandable. We remain confident that we will reach an amicable agreement among all parties so that Mr. Poll’s stewardship of the renovated facility can begin as soon as possible."

The other major sticking point now is whether the restaurant will continue to be called Tavern on the Green. Former owner Warner LeRoy trademarked the name in 1973, and his family says it's worth $19 million, a number that sounds about as overpriced as the restaurant's lackluster food.