Beau Monde duo taking over NYC's Tavern on the Green

Tavern on the Green before it closed. Jim Caiola and David Salama of Beau Monde in Queen Village will take over next year.
Tavern on the Green before it closed. Jim Caiola and David Salama of Beau Monde in Queen Village will take over next year. (DANIEL ACKER / Bloomberg News, File)
Posted: August 18, 2012

Jim Caiola and David Salama, owners of the Queen Village creperie Beau Monde, on Thursday were named the future operators of the Central Park landmark Tavern on the Green. They will maintain Beau Monde, their rep says.

New York will award the pair a 20-year license term to run an informal restaurant and outdoor café; it's just west of the Sheep Meadow near 67th Street.

They've hired Caiola's Johnson & Wales classmate Katy Sparks as executive chef. She was named a 1998 "Top Ten Best New Chef in America" by Food & Wine Magazine, and her experience includes the Quilted Giraffe, Mesa Grill, Bolo, and Quilty's, in New York. Caiola and Salama won the contract with a detailed operational plan for an attractive venue with a locally sourced menu and a focus on the park. It will include outdoor seating for 200 to 300 as well as take-out service.

They won't get the keys for nearly a year. Tavern on the Green is expected to reopen in fall 2013. By law, the city had to announce the arrangement by Thursday.

Founded in 1934 and operated by a series of restaurateurs, Tavern on the Green has been closed since 2009, when renovations were announced.

The plan details "an informal restaurant and outdoor café that everyday park visitors can enjoy," Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe said in a statement.

"Tavern on the Green is one of the most amazing places in the world," Caiola said in a statement. "Who wouldn't want to be a part of it?"

"As an artist and craftsman, I've been a jack of all trades and master of some," Salama said. "I love the design and building process. Having the opportunity to do it at Tavern on the Green makes my heart skip beats."


Contact Michael Klein

at mklein@philly.com.

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