The famous New York City Boathouse will be closed due to rising costs

The prominent lakeside wedding venue in Central Park will be closing, launching paddle boat rentals and the Loeb Boathouse Restaurant this fall.

In a notice filed with the New York State Department of Labor this month, owner Dean J. Paul formalized his plans to permanently close the business “due to rising labor and merchandise costs.” All 163 employees will be laid off, and business will be closed on October 16.

Paul told The Post regarding securing a new owner for the famous haunt, which was built under the auspices of Robert Moses and opened to the public in 1954.

“Maybe not,” he added of the prospect of never finding a new owner.

He also referred to the increase in labor and insurance costs as the prevailing economic difficulties facing the company. In recent times, it has proven to be too overpowering, despite the restaurant’s continued popularity.

“COVID has nothing to do with anything. The scale was there,” Poll — who took over the restaurant in 2000 — said Patch. “But the expenses only erode it.”

Lunch at the Boathouse in 2014.
Environmental Protection Agency
Central Park Boathouse October Closing
Tuna entrees served once at the Boathouse.
James Messerschmidt
Central Park Boathouse October Closing
The Boathouse has previously been temporarily closed during the pandemic.
Brian Zack/New York Post
Central Park Harbor
The institution opened in 1954.
Stephen Yang
Central Park Boathouse October Closing
Chinese billionaire Chen Guangbiao hosts a 2014 event at the Boathouse Restaurant in Central Park where several hundred homeless people received lunch 0.
James Messerschmidt

Additional expenses came from the fact that, in 2017, Poll signed a 15-year agreement with the city that required him to pay either 7.2% of total receipts or a roughly $1.7 million fee, Crain’s reported.

“We intend to engage a future operator as soon as possible,” Parks spokesman Crystal Howard told The Post, adding that the city is doing everything possible to help those with existing future reservations in the space. “We are working in good faith with the existing operator to try to accommodate those individuals who already have an event scheduled at the Boathouse.”

Despite her involvement, Parks is not involved in negotiations between the boat operator and its employees, who are represented by the union.

The announcement of the permanent closure comes after the Boathouse recently reopened after closing during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also closed for three months in 2018, when it underwent a $2.9 million renovation.

“He was tired after 18 years,” Paul told The Post at the time.

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