At least one celebrity-death-match-style showdown pitting two iconic Manhattan families is already shaping up: tough-talking, big-building tycoon Donald Trump vs. pony-riding eatery heiress Jennifer Oz LeRoy.
Mr. Trump announced his intentions during a March interview with the New York Post, alleging that the legendary restaurant had “suffered greatly” since Ms. LeRoy took over from her father. Albeit not particularly known for his culinary expertise, Mr. Trump is at least well versed in the ways of the Parks Department. He presently operates two skating rinks in Central Park.
Ms. LeRoy, meanwhile, entered the family restaurant business at age 19, washing dishes; within three years, she was managing both Tavern on the Green and the Russian Tea Room. Under the now 27-year-old C.E.O.’s direction, Tavern last year raked in its highest sales total since at least 1998.
“We know what it takes to run the place, and nobody else does,” said Ms. LeRoy’s publicist, Ms. Clark.
The operation presently entails a staff of 525 churning out nearly 700,000 meals annually. Its six dining rooms can hold up to 1,500 patrons at a time.
“It’s a very old building. The upkeep alone is a pricey little enterprise,” noted Ms. Clark.
Ms. LeRoy has vowed to maintain her father’s beloved eatery. She declined to discuss strategy.
“This looming deadline has been thought about for a long time,” said Ms. Clark. “The LeRoy family certainly does not want to lose the lease and is certainly going to do everything in their power to get a renewal.”
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