- In Pictures
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BY ALBERT AMATEAU | Simon Oren’s Chef Driven Market LLC has been awarded the franchise to operate a seasonal restaurant in the renovated pavilion at the north end of Union Square Park.
The restaurant will operate from April 15 to Oct. 15 from 7 a.m. to midnight under a 15-year contract with the Department of Parks and Recreation.
No date has been set for the opening but a Parks spokesperson said it would not be this season.
Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said Chef Driven Market submitted an inventive proposal that would take full advantage of the locally grown and produced fresh food sold at the Union Square Greenmarket.
“It will be a welcome addition to the park’s restored north end,” Benepe said, “a $20 million project that included the rehabilitation of the north and west plazas, the creation of a 15,000-square-foot playground, the restoration of the pavilion, new public restrooms, historic lighting, new landscaping and more than 50 trees.” He acknowledged the Union Square Partnership Business Improvement District’s role as a sponsor of the north end restoration.
The franchise allows the restaurant to use some of the plaza area north of the pavilion for outdoor seating. The winning bid included sample brunch prices of $17.95 for omelets, dinner entrees from $13.95 to $33.95, a breakfast selection for $15.95 and desserts for $14.95.
Geoffrey Croft, a founder of NYC Park Advocates and long an opponent of a restaurant concession in the pavilion, said on Wednesday that opponents would go to court to cancel the contract.