City Announces New Operator for Loeb Boathouse in Central Park

The Loeb Boathouse. Image Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

On February 16, 2023, Mayor Eric Adams and Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue announced the new selection of Legends Hospitality for the operator of the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park for a ten-year term. The Loeb Boathouse is located on the eastern shore of the 72nd Street Lake, with a dining room that opens up onto the lake, and also includes an indoor bar, snack bar, an events room, a public courtyard, and rowboat rentals.

The Loeb Boathouse shut down on December 31, 2022. Last August, Parks began the process of selecting a new operator by evaluating proposals from prospective parties. Interested parties needed to submit plans for operating, renovating, and maintaining the restaurant, snack bar, and rowboat rental within the Loeb Boathouse. After reviewing many competitive proposals, Parks selected Legends Hospitality. 

Legends Hospitality currently operates other City landmarks and notable attractions like One World Observatory, Yankee Stadium, Circle Line, the Intrepid, and Oculus Beer Garden. With this agreement with the city, Legends has committed a $3.25 million capital investment into the boathouse, and $250,000 for structural maintenance improvements. Legends will update the menus and overhaul the boat rental program. Restoration plans include bathroom renovations, connecting the upper and lower outdoor dining patios, adding more efficient and sustainable building systems, and opening up views from the outdoor bar. 

Legends Hospitality will now need approval from the Franchise and Concession Review Committee through the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services. A public hearing will be held on March 3, 2023. If approved, the Loeb Boathouse could reopen as early as this summer. 

Mayor Adams stated, “The Central Park Boathouse has been a landmark for generations of New Yorkers. When it closed last year, many worried about its future, but our administration moved quickly to keep this piece of New York City history alive. Thanks to the fast work of NYC Parks, we’ve selected a new operator so the Boathouse can come back better than ever, ensuring tourists and New Yorkers alike can enjoy this beautiful space and scenery once again.”

Legends Hospitality President Dan Smith stated, “Legends is honored to be selected by NYC Parks to operate the iconic Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. We proudly serve as stewards of legendary brands around the globe and are committed to making the Loeb Boathouse a dining destination that provides memorable experiences for visitors and locals for years to come.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)




One thought on “City Announces New Operator for Loeb Boathouse in Central Park

  1. Legends? Sounds like a strip club. Even though the food will be bad it will likely have stadium prices. This is a special location, the thick overcooked ‘classy’ steak schlock could have been relegated to the takeout counter, by way of hotdogs and bad coffee.can’t believe I’m saying this, I miss Bloomberg.

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