While the city continues to ponder bids on the Tavern on the Green space (it had hoped to decide between Seth Greenberg of Capitale, Dean Poll of the Boathouse, and the current ownership by July 1), none other than John “JE” Englebert has laid claim to the hallowed grounds. You’ll recall Englebert is the self-proclaimed “nightlife entrepreneur” and high priest of all things classy who threatened to rip Ilan Hall’s head off, planned to sue McDonald’s for opening in his condo, and halfheartedly vowed to end bottle service. Seems the latter was just (gasp!) a publicity stunt, because he has now issued a press release bragging that he and an “all star night club team” (meaning some promoter types, presumably) are turning Tavern on the Green’s garden into a “disco” and a “trendy club” every Thursday: “Dining tables will be converted to bottle service and lines are expected to be extended throughout the park.” Sure, Tavern on the Green has had its share of financial woes, but isn’t this a little desperate?
Actually, a rep for the restaurant says she doesn’t know who JE Englebert is, or why he thinks he’s throwing a party there. She says Thursday nights (part of Tavern’s summer dance program) have always been hosted by Erik and Gordon von Broock, who have always charged a $5 cover. Though Englebert’s release (which was followed by a flyer pointing to a Facebook page) indicates that the party will go till 12:30 a.m., the rep assures, “They end early. We don’t have lines down the block — it’s not a wild situation.” But Englebert says he wants to take over other parks, too! From the release: “Places like the Zoo and Strawberry Fields could be filled with thousands of club patrons all night. Imagine New Yorkers partying in monkey cages, it would add a new term to the word ‘wildlife.’” Right. Totally going to happen.