Tavern on the Green may be reborn as global chain
WILMINGTON, Del. Aug 18 (Reuters) - New York's famed Tavern on the Green restaurant, which closed after going bankrupt in 2009, may be reborn as a global chain with a charitable twist if an investor gets his way.
Louis Bivona has offered $1.3 million for the name, which will allow him to build off his business selling premium salad dressings under a license with the Tavern name.
The trustee of Tavern on the Green's bankruptcy estate is selling the name and other assets to pay off creditors.
Tavern on the Green's romantic setting on the edge of Central Park in New York City charmed throngs of visitors who were willing to forgive what was considered mediocre cuisine.
Bivona estimates that 17 million people dined at the restaurant. Many were foreign tourists, and Bivona said he is already fielding inquiries from potential partners in Britain.
A former manager with Mutual of New York, Bivona draws his inspiration from Paul Newman, the late actor who launched a line of salad dressings to benefit charity.
Each bottle of Tavern on the Green dressings and oils, such as Bahia Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinegar which fetches $28.95, generates 50 cents for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The revived restaurant and his charitable giving make a great match, Bivona said.
"People want tradition and family and want to protect their children, and we want to be the cornerstone for that," said Bivona, who said he is a victim of sexual abuse and has made fighting abuse of children his life's work.
The bid from Bivona's Tavern International LLC is subject to higher offers and must be approved by New York's bankruptcy court. (Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bangalore. Editing by Robert MacMillan)