For the vendors they stiffed, industry insiders, members of the Parks Department, and anyone familiar with the multiple lawsuits filed against them, the Tavern on the Green bankruptcy filing last week came as no surprise. But for everyone else, it was a bit of a shock. Wasn't this the highest grossing restaurant in the country? Isn't this place a guaranteed goldmine? Professor Glenn Collins at the Times realizes that no, revenue isn't exactly the same thing as profit and a monster like TOTG is an insanely expensive place to run—think of the Con Ed Bill with those 600,000 tea lights outside, he says!—especially when weddings and private events drop off due to a down economy. The real victims here: the lowly vendors owed for prior services, like this balloon guy owed $2,200: “If they knew they were having trouble paying their regular suppliers — well, to contract with a small specialty company like ours is an unconscionable way to do business."
The dining section's Pete Wells has another explanation for why the restaurant is bankrupt. The food sucks: "it is easier to eat better just about anywhere else in New York."
· Why Did Tavern Fail? [NYT]
· A Grand Spectacle, Frozen in Time [NYT]