July 19, 2012 | Short Order
Jennifer Leroy and Mom seek Manhattan restaurant space.
Back after losing their 2009 bid to rehab and run Tavern on the Green, Jennifer LeRoy and her mother, Kay, are seeking a Manhattan restaurant space. An industry insider gave me the news with a request to remain anonymous. I did not reach either woman for comment.
Presumably, whatever they do won’t be called Tavern on the Avenue or Tavern in Midtown — since the court tossed out their claim to own the name.
The flamboyant Warner LeRoy chose his youngest child to take over at Tavern and the Russian Tea Room in 2001 after his death. She was just 22, seen by many as “an untested, beautiful heiress who liked to ride horses,” as the Crains profile observed in December 2009.
Seventeen months later, the crushing debt of the $30 million dollars Warner LeRoy borrowed for his splashy renovation of the Russian Tea Room forced her to close it. In September, Tavern filed for bankruptcy after losing its bid for a new lease. Ironically, the city’s chosen savior for Tavern, Dean Poll who runs the Boathouse, abandoned the project when he couldn’t get rid of the union.
Now the fanciful palace that Warner built on the edge of the Park, family-run since 1976, is a mouldering hulk, stripped of the treasures he collected, a parking lot for food trucks. Up for bids once again.
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