The Loeb Boathouse Returns: What We Know So Far

Central Park Loeb Boathouse Closes

One of Central Park’s most beloved destinations for tourists and locals alike is prepping for its grand return. Yes, the rumors are true — the Loeb Boathouse is on track to open its doors to visitors later this month.


While many are understandably chomping at the bit to return to the iconic space overlooking the lake, where elevated dishes like jumbo lump crab cakes and seared scallops were served alongside expertly mixed martinis and an extensive wine list, they will have to sit tight. The first step in the “phased approach,” according to The New York Post, will be the Boathouse Cafe, a casual al fresco venue with 80 seats. The previous iteration of the laid-back sibling to the main event included grab-and-go sandwiches, vino in plastic bottles and crispy crinkle cut french fries (which I was particularly fond of). No word yet on what the freshened-up outpost will serve, but the menu (for both establishments) is being revamped. The primary dining room is set to open in late summer.

After a brief pandemic closure, the Ramble-adjacent restaurant shuttered in October 2022 “due to rising labor and costs of goods,” laying off 163 employees in the process. But by February of this year, a new operator — Legends Hospitality, responsible for food and beverage programs at Yankee Stadium, One World Observatory and more — was confirmed by Mayor Eric Adams and Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue.

At the time, Adams stated, “The Central Park Boathouse has been a landmark for generations of New Yorkers. When it closed last year, many worried about its future, but our administration moved quickly to keep this piece of New York City history alive. Thanks to the fast work of NYC Parks, we’ve selected a new operator so the Boathouse can come back better than ever.” This “better than ever” includes a $3.25 million capital investment and a $250,000 investment geared toward structural improvements. New York City Council Member Gale Brewer praised the project — noting Legends had agreed to retain the Boathouse’s union workers.

In addition to cosmetic (and perhaps culinary) improvements, the Loeb Boathouse will officially enter 2023. After an archaic cash-only boat-booking system, you will now be able to rent rowboats with credit cards and through online reservations. If you’ve witnessed the lengthy lines for modest vessels on a sunny day, you know what a big deal this is.


Named for Carl Loeb, a wealthy businessman who financed its completion in 1954, the Loeb Boathouse has been a cultural mainstay for decades. Naturally, it’s made a slew of memorable appearances in film and TV shows, including When Harry Met Sally and Sex and the City, when Carrie Bradshaw falls into the lake in the midst of a reunion with Mr. Big.

We’ve reached out to Legends Hospitality for comment (and an update on the menu), and will update this article as we learn more.


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Latest Comments

  1. No more crabcakes June 6, 2023
  2. RQ June 8, 2023

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