Dead Movie Star Inspires Businessman to Make Offer for Closed Restaurant’s Name

What's prettier: His eyes ... <i>or his heart</i>?
What's prettier: His eyes ... or his heart? Photo: Getty Images

Paul Newman may have died back in 2008, but his packaged-food line is still going strong. Well, Tavern on the Green closed in 2009, but that’s not stopping an investor named Louis Bivona from offering $1.3 million for the rights to the shuttered spot’s name. Reuters says that Bivona, who currently licenses the Tavern on the Green name for a line of salad dressings, has made the offer in hopes of reviving the restaurant as a charitable enterprise.

The Newman connection is this: Bivona’s plan is to take a cue from the Newman’s Own charity model (the company donates all profits to charity). Reuters says Bivona already donates 50 cents to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for each bottle of Tavern salad dressing he sells, and if the brand grows, his charitable contributions will, too. We’re not sure people will really go to a reimagined Tavern somewhere like Dubai just because the restaurant donates to charity — but as far as old-timey New York restaurants go, the Tavern name at least elicits more warm, fuzzy feelings than, say, Le Cirque.

Tavern on the Green may be reborn as global chain [Reuters]