Greek-American restaurateur Dean Poll will shutter the iconic Loeb Boathouse restaurant in Central Park, a New York City institution he has operated for over twenty years. He cited rising labor and costs of goods as the reasons for permanently closing the business and laying off its 163 employees.
Poll has operated the Boathouse since 2000, when he was awarded the concession from the city Parks Department. The restaurant and event space is located inside the 343-hectare (850-acre) Central Park in the heart of Manhattan, alongside Central Park Lake.
Poll’s fifteen-year lease was extended in 2016, but in a filing this month with the city, he indicated the restaurant would close on October 16th. Poll Group also owns another venerable eatery in New York, Gallagher’s Steakhouse.
The Boathouse also closed on March 16, 2020, because of the coronavirus pandemic, but reopened in March 2021. The city said it intended to find a new operator for the space that also hosts weddings, business events, and fundraisers.
Loeb Boathouse Restaurant Appeared in Films
The Boathouse itself has appeared in numerous movies over the years, including When Harry Met Sally and The Manchurian Candidate.
Poll is a member of New York’s Greek-American community, and Ecumenical Patriarch named Poll an Archon for his service. Growing up on Long Island’s North Shore, Poll worked at his family’s 250-seat seafood restaurant, Pappas, in Brooklyn.