Spring is the perfect time to visit scenic Central Park in New York City and this year's visitors can stop at a landmark for information on their way into the park from its west side entrance. The historic Tavern on the Green, the former restaurant near the 67th Street park entrance off Central Park West, has hosted many memorable travel industry events, as well as countless weddings, reunions and romantic private lunches and dinners over its 75-year history. The restaurant closed due to bankruptcy at the end of 2009, and is currently operated as a visitor center for the Central Park Conservancy.
Inside visitors will find a New York City tourist information desk with brochures, maps and coupons for attractions across the city, as well as detailed calendar-sensitive information on what to see and do in Central Park. There is also a New York City gift shop for finding an array of merchandise inscribed with city logos, as well as interactive touch screen displays for finding maps and images of museums, restaurants, theaters, shopping and other city attractions. Outside the tavern windows, an outdoor refreshment courtyard has been set up with picnic tables under the trees where festive lanterns once hung to illuminate the restaurant's al fresco table dining. There are a handful of New York's famed food wagons in the courtyard, where daytime visitors can order everything from Asian fast food to Italian sandwiches, crepes, ice cream desserts, and other snack foods.
There have been early 2011 reports that New York's celebrity real estate developer Donald Trump is trying to negotiate a purchase of Tavern on the Green to reopen his own restaurant, but the reports are no more certain than his aspirations to run for President. On April 15, 2011 New York City announced it has settled a contentious lawsuit in which the city will continue to own the rights to the Tavern on the Green brand, estimated to have a value of $19 million. Trustees who sought to buy the name will be able to use it in other cities, provided they include the name of their non-New York location to the name and specify that any subsequent restaurant may not to be confused with Central Park's iconic original.