Originally designed by Calvert Vaux, Tavern on the Green was built as a sheep fold in the 1880’s to house the 700 Southdown sheep that grazed in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow. Robert Moses transformed the building in to a restaurant in 1934, as part of his park renovation. Through the next few decades, Tavern underwent several changes in management, but the iconic view of the park, and the addition of a dance floor, outdoor seating, and lavish menu, kept prominent actors, musicians, and public figures coming back to the restaurant to dine, drink, and celebrate.
After a hiatus starting in 2009, the city searched diligently for a new operator to reopen the iconic restaurant in 2013. The city selected current owners and restauranteurs Jim Caiola and David Salama, previously of Philadelphia, who would bring a fresh, welcoming approach to Tavern. The duo renovated the restaurant with inviting décor and wood paneling reminiscent of the original sheep fold, and, with a seasonal menu more reflective of Greater New York, reopened Tavern on the Green in April 2014.