Tavern on The Green Takeover? Trump Lukewarm, Nieporent Reluctant, LeRoy Defiant

“I refuse to sell the soul of Oz,” a defiant Jennifer Oz LeRoy, the alluring 30-year-old owner of Tavern on the Green, said in an interview with Page Six Magazine.

As The Observer reported last year, Ms. LeRoy is facing a potential bidding war over the iconic Central Park eatery–the second-highest-grossing independently run restaurant in the country in 2007–which she inherited from her flamboyant father, the late Warner LeRoy.

Many of the city’s most illustrious restaurateurs are said to be in the running for the lucrative concessions contract with the city’s Parks Department, including Gramercy Tavern operator Danny Meyer and Boathouse owner Dean Poll.

Yet, the two possible contenders quoted by the magazine seemed hesistant at best about taking over the sprawling 23,000-square-foot culinary behemoth.

“I have a lukewarm interest in it, because it would require a tremendous amount of work and money,” developer Donald Trump told the magazine.

Nobu owner Drew Nieporent, who worked as the restaurant director at Tavern between 1978 and 1982 and whose name has also been tossed around as someone who could take over the lease, has similar concerns. “Though I am the most qualified person to run the place, I’m not certain I want to. Serving the best food and serving the masses is not always [possible],” he says. “The history of Tavern is that it’s been a moneymaker for the operator. But whoever operates Tavern deserves every penny they make. The logistics of the place are incredibly difficult.”

Bidding is expected to begin later this fall, according to the article.

Tavern on The Green Takeover? Trump Lukewarm, Nieporent Reluctant, LeRoy Defiant