The New York State Court of Appeals has just given the Parks Department the go-ahead on the restaurant planned for the Union Square Pavilion. This is just the latest decision in the long drawn-out battle over the pavilion, where plans for a new restaurant have been repeatedly blocked, dropped, and blocked again for the past six years.
Simon Oren, the man behind the 5 Napkin Burger chain, finally got the green light for his proposed restaurant there back in June, when the court overturned a judge's 2011 injunction against the project. But then last month the Union Square Park Community Coalition appealed that ruling, arguing that the restaurant would violate the Public Trust Doctrine, which states that parkland cannot be used for private ventures unless it gets approval from the State Legislature. This latest court decision rules that that's not the case, and now maybe, just maybe, Oren will really move forward on the restaurant. When it does open, Oren will pay an annual fee to the Parks Department, and though the plan is to sell pricey market-driven dishes like $18 omelettes, he's promised to submit all menus to the park for approval and to include some "relatively affordable" options.
· Controversial Union Square Restaurant is Good to Go [Gothamist]
· All Coverage of the Union Square Pavilion [~ENY~]