The Diner's Journal reports the somewhat disappointing news that international sandwich and pastry chain Le Pain Quotidien has beat out Dovetail and other unknown contenders in a bid to open a cafe in Sheep Meadow in Central Park. Earlier this year, the Parks Department called for bids on the cafe space and a separate food cart over at the Arcade at Bethesda Terrace, and while John Fraser's UWS restaurant has not been ruled out for the cart operation, he said all along he would need to win both bids to achieve his vision for the park.
As for Le Pain, they'll be putting $1 million into the cafe space, and plan on offering table service in a dining room that seats 80 as well to-go items “so people can get back to their frisbees." The chain—which is like an upscale version of Au Bon Pain—has 128 locations in 11 countries, 20 of which are in Manhattan. They will be practically identical to those served at other spaces. But hey, tourists like what they know, right?
· Le Pain Quotidien to Operate Cafe at the Sheep Meadow [Diner's Journal]
· Dovetail Vying for Central Park Cafe & Cart Spaces [~ENY~]
· More Details Unleashed on Dovetail's Central Park Cafe [~ENY~]