Tragedy has struck Central Park’s Loeb Boathouse yet again. After closing for roughly five months amid the pandemic from October 2020 to March 2021, the treasured restaurant by the Ramble is now calling it quits for good on October 16 “due to rising labor and costs of goods,” according to a filing with the New York State Department of Labor Office. Once again, all 163 employees will be laid off.
“It is our intention to engage a future operator as soon as possible,” said a New York City Department of Parks & Recreation rep in a statement to ILTUWS. “We are working in good faith with the current operator in an effort to accommodate those individuals who have an event already scheduled at the Boathouse.”
Representing the 163 newly out of work employees is the Hotel Trades Council. In a statement to Patch, a union spokesperson from the council said they were “very disappointed” with Boathouse owner Dean Poll for closing while they “make sure [employees] are protected and taken care of in terms of benefits and severance.”
The Boathouse — which features a restaurant, café and events space — first opened in 1954. It’s become iconic as the launch point for rowboat and gondola rides while being a popular destination for wedding proposals, family events and legendary film and TV scenes. A classic scene from Season Three of Sex and the City, when Carrie goes on a date with Mr. Big, was filmed at the Loeb — and Meg Ryan’s character in 1989 rom-com When Harry Met Sally, Sally Albright, also visits the Boathouse for lunch with her friends.
Named after German immigrant Carl M. Loeb after he made a generous contribution to build the facility, the Boathouse got a roughly $750,000 renovation in 1983, which included the addition of the glassed-in terrace so the Boathouse could be used in the winter months. The sliding glass doors are a beautiful touch to open up the space in the warmer months.
Once again, it’ll feel like there’s a hole in the heart of Central Park when the Loeb shuts down this October.