For all his megalomaniacal behavior, Donald Trump occasionally uses his powers for good, especially in Central Park, where he revived the Wollman Skating Rink and Central Park Carousel. Now the Times and Post report that The Donald wants to bail out another sagging Central Park icon: Tavern on the Green. The storied eatery was yanked from longtime operators the LeRoy family, but the next restaurateur awarded the license to run the place failed to come to an agreement with the labor union that reps the restaurant's employees. Trump says he's personally worked out a deal with the union to reopen Tavern on the Green, only there's a problem: He has no authority to do so. City officials haven't yet discussed the matter with Trump, though they've said in the past that all potential Tavern deals would be considered. Oh, and there's a second problem: Trump wants to trample on history. Should they let him?
The Donald says he wants to pump $20 million into the space, which was gutted after the LeRoys left and had nearly all of its treasures auctioned off. His plan is to rebuild the Crystal Room (above), the Tavern's gaudy chandelier-stuffed dining room that was also a money-minting events space. The Crystal Room, built by the LeRoys in 1976, was torn down last summer, which returned the Tavern building to its original 1870s configuration. The move was celebrated by the president of the Central Park Conservancy, so we're guessing preservationists won't be too thrilled with Trump bringing back the '70s. Insert typical Trump braggadocio: "Everyone wants this to happen, and nobody else but me can do it, because I'm the only one who has the money." He may be right.
· Trump Says He and Union Have a Deal on Tavern on the Green [City Room]
· Donald Trump to ask city if he can run Tavern on the Green [NYP]