About Tavern on The Green

A modern tavern nestled in a bucolic Central Park setting, Tavern on the Green is an iconic, landmark restaurant unlike any other.

Centered around a hearty, rustic menu shaped by local, seasonal ingredients, Tavern on the Green invites patrons into a warm, celebratory gathering space that captures the spirit of Central Park and the energy of New York City.

Originally designed by Calvert Vaux and built in 1870 to house the sheep that grazed in Central Park's Sheep Meadow, Tavern on the Green has proudly served locals, presidents, royalty, artists, actors, and first-time visitors since 1934.

Tour tavern on the green
History & Renovation

Tavern on the Green begins life as a Gothic Revival sheepfold housing 200 Southdown sheep.

1870

Sheepfold becomes a restaurant as part of a Robert Moses park renovation. 

Sheep banished to Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.

1934
New York City Parks Photo Archive

The dance floor was enlarged and a large outdoor patio was added, in addition the Elm Tree Room was built.

This picture shows ladies that lunch over Lobster Newburg.

1940's - 50's
New York City Parks Photo Archive

Tavern lavishly reincarnated by Warner LeRoy. Crystal Room added. Celebrities dine amidst brass, Tiffany-stained glass, and Baccarat chandeliers.

1976
New York City Parks Photo Archive

Tavern on the Green returns to its inviting, tavern-inspired roots. Local and artisanal food becomes the forefront of the experience. Live sheep still unwelcome.

2014
Photo by Robin Caiola
Leadership
Jim Caiola, Proprietor

Jim Caiola is an award-winning filmmaker who first fell in love with Tavern on the Green as a Lee Strasberg acting student in the early 1980’s. After studying with Strasberg, Jim moved on to Johnson and Wales where he received a degree in Hotel Restaurant Management.

In 1998, Jim and his partner David Salama opened the successful Creperie Beau Monde in Philadelphia where they brought national attention to the culinary renaissance in Philadelphia for over a decade. In 2003 they opened L’Etage, a bar-lounge with performance space above the restaurant. At L’Etage, Caiola hosts and produces innovative programming and supports local artists.

In 2013, Jim and David re-opened Tavern on the Green with the vision of the original landmark—a warm, celebratory gathering space that captures the spirit of Central Park and the energy of New York City.

David Salama, Proprietor

David Salama was born in Cochabamba, Bolivia and came to the United States to pursue a career in the arts, receiving a BFA in Graphic Design from Tyler School of Art. As part of his college education, David spent two years in Rome where the magic of food and art shaped his aesthetic vision and made a significant impact on his training as a fine artist and food lover.

Curious to explore his interest in the food arts, David Salama along with partner Jim Caiola opened Creperie Beau Monde in 1998. The opportunity to open a restaurant called on all the trades that David had mastered over the years. Part restorer, designer, carpenter, chef, and painter, the project utilized and celebrated all these creative skills.

David Salama has appeared in a number of national and local TV shows, including NBC’s First Look and The Best Thing I Ever Ate where Chef Alton Brown exclaimed that Beau Monde has "the best crepes in the world.”

In 2013, Jim and David re-opened Tavern on the Green with the vision of the original landmark—a warm, celebratory gathering space that captures the spirit of Central Park and the energy of New York City.

Bill Peet, Executive Chef

Bill Peet comes to Tavern on the Green as the Executive Chef with over 35 years of New York City fine dining experience. During his career, he has worked in some very iconic restaurants. Bill spent 15 years as Sous Chef and Pastry Chef at the legendary Lutèce with André Soltner. Following his departure from Lutèce, Bill was the Chef/Owner of a critically acclaimed restaurant – La Petite Rose. He has also held the position of Executive Chef at renowned restaurants such as Asia de Cuba, Café des Artistes & Patroon. Inspired by the reputation of New York City’s most iconic restaurant – Tavern on the Green, Bill feels this is the perfect match with his experience.

Partners
A FILM ICON

A Film Icon

Reinforcing its iconic status and cinematic style, Tavern on the Green has been prominently featured or mentioned in numerous films over the years including:
An Unmarried Woman (1978)
It’s My Turn (1980)
Arthur (1981)
Only When I Laugh (1981)
Ghostbusters (1984)
Heartburn (1986)
Wall Street (1987)
Arthur 2 (1988)
Beaches (1988)
New York Stories: Oedipus Wrecks (1989)
Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
Stella (1990)
Whispers in the Dark (1992)
The Night We Never Met (1993)
The Out-of-Towners (1999)
It Had to be You (2000)
Hall of Mirrors (2001)
Made (2001)
Alfie (2004)
New York, I Love You (2008)
Mr. Popper’s Penguins (2011)