NYC Parks No Longer Seeks New Vendor for Central Park Boathouse ~ Thanks to an Anonymous Donor?




Image via theloebboathouse

Questioning our delightful update, with the news from Juliet Papa at 1010 Wins that there is a post on the door (November 4, 2022) indicating The Loeb Central Park Boathouse Cafe’, Restaurant will be closed until further notice. Stay tuned?

  • A delightful update (August 21, 2022) ~ The beloved Central Park Boathouse has been rescued thanks to a secret donor. The $6 million gift will not only save The Boathouse, but also the 163 employee jobs that are a big part of it.

Thank you to the anonymous donor

NYC Parks today announces that it intends to enter into a negotiated concession process in order to identify and enter into an agreement with a new operator for the operation, renovation and maintenance of a high-quality restaurant, snack bar and rowboat rental at the Loeb Boathouse, Central Park, Manhattan.

Image via theloebboathouse

The current operator of the Loeb Boathouse, through a notice dated July 14, 2022, announced the closure of the concession effective as of October 16, 2022.  Parks is engaged in good faith negotiations with the concessionaire to allow catered events to continue until approximately December 31, 2022 and to amend the agreement to allow the concession to end prior to its original termination date.

In accordance with Section 1-14 of the Concession Rules of the City of New York, Parks is utilizing the negotiated concession process, rather than a competitive sealed proposal process, in order to identify and install a new operator as quickly as possible.  The concession will be operated pursuant to a license issued by Parks; no leasehold or other proprietary right will be offered.  The concession is projected to expire no more than 10 years from the commencement date.  The selected operator must also act in good faith to seek to accommodate any events already booked at the facility with the current concessionaire.

Image via theloebboathouse

Potential concessionaires that would like to express interest in the proposed concession and/or obtain additional information concerning the concession may contact Andrew Coppola, Senior Project Manager for the Revenue Division, at (212) 360-3454 or via e-mail at by August 19, 2022.  Thereafter, there will be a process for the submission of proposals.  Parks will evaluate the proposals on the bases of capital investment, improvement and designs; operating experience; financial capability; planned operations; and fee offer.

Image via theloebboathouse

Located on the eastern shore of the 72nd Street Lake in Central Park, the Loeb Boathouse was constructed in 1952 and has served as a unique dining and recreational amenity in one of New York City’s most picturesque locations.  The Loeb Boathouse in Central Park is a New York City landmark and any improvements are subject to approval by the Public Design Commission and Landmark Commission.  The restaurant’s main dining room opens onto the lake and features accordion style glass windows that fold back to allow the restaurant to become totally open to the lake during the warmer months, and close to allow for uninterrupted views with protection from the elements during the winter months.  The building also includes an indoor bar with a large stone fireplace, a snack bar with indoor and outdoor access and seating, a Lake Room currently used for special events, restrooms for customers and the general public, and an enclosed courtyard accessible to the public.  Rowboats are also rented from an outdoor kiosk with boats stored on a series of wooden docks.  Patrons to the Loeb Boathouse and visitors to Central Park have enjoyed this location for years and Parks would like to continue to provide these welcome amenities.

Click here to visit NYC Parks’ website to download the Notice of Intent for Negotiated Concession. 

Central Park by the Lake, ca.1915 William Davis Hassler. Museum of the City of New York Archive via

Let’s take a look-back at boating on the lake, a popular pastime in the 1860s. Seeing the need for a place to store boats, Central Park landscape architect Calvert Vaux designed a two-story Victorian, wooden boathouse that was twelve feet wide and twenty feet long.

Boat House in Central Park, ca.1915. Postcard Collection. Museum of the City of New York Archive via

Vaux’s boathouse was replaced in 1924 by a rustic, wooden structure ~ architect unknown ~ and by the 1950s it was in need of repair. Enter investment banker and philanthropist Carl M. Loeb and his wife Adeline, who donated $305,000 to help create The Loeb Boathouse that stands today. The current boathouse was designed by Chief Park Designer Stuart Constable and officially opened in March 1954 ~ eventually evolving into a restaurant.

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