The iconic Loeb Boathouse in NYC’s Central Park is closing this fall

The legendary boathouse and restaurant will be closed in October this year, marking the end of an era for the New York City.
The loeb boathouse
The iconic Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. Image: Shutterstock/MISHELLA.

One of the world’s most renowned green spaces, Central Park features 843 acres of rolling meadows, pathways lined with elms, manicured lawns, boulder-studded outcroppings, a lake, and a reservoir, and a number of public spaces. The Loeb Boathouse, an iconic restaurant in Central Park, has been around since the early 80’s.

But after drawing New Yorkers and tourists alike for decades, the historic venue will soon shut its doors on October 16 this year. Rising labour and costs of goods were cited as the main reasons for the decision, as cited by Dean J Poll, the operator of the establishment, in the official statement. “It’s a very difficult place to operate. It’s the location, the seasonality, access, and expenses,” Poll added.

Central park in nyc
The boathouse is popular for its rowboat rentals as well as the restaurant on the top floor. Image: Shutterstock/Alexandre Tziripouloff.

Tucked away near the eastern shore of the lake, the boathouse was first designed by Central Park landscape architect Calvert Vaux in 1872 as a two-storey wooden Victorian building. It was later replaced by a rustic wood structure in 1924, and then eventually refurbished and reborn as the Loeb Boathouse in 1954.

The longstanding restaurant has even graced the silver screen more than once by appearing in several classics, like When Harry Met SallyThe Manchurian Candidate, and 27 Dresses. It has hosted everyone from the city’s elites, to nature enthusiasts, and bird watchers.

However, the authorities have assured that the place will not be closed permanently. Officials from the Department of Parks and Recreation plan to find a new operator for the as soon as possible, and accommodate corporate events and weddings in the space in future.

The Loeb Boathouse is best known as the launch point for rowboats, offering visitors an ideal way to explore one of the park’s most significant landscapes. In addition to the rowboat and gondola rental, the boathouse includes a restaurant, cafe, and event space. Boating on the lake has been one of Central Park’s most enduring traditions, followed by an evening stroll and lakeside dinner.

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