A $60 million overhaul of the pedestrian plaza in front of the Metropolitan Museum of Art will no longer include a planned food kiosk, reports DNAinfo. Billionaire David Koch, who is also a museum trustee, told the WSJ in April he will supply “at least $10 million” for the project, which includes 400 seats, new trees, and fountains, but now, no coffee. The high-stakes area in front of the museum has been the site of skirmishes and sabotage in the past few years as organic cupcakes and pretzel vendors have supplanted the dirty-water-dog guys.
But it hasn’t been all frosting and conflict-free sprinkles for the organic-cupcake folks. Sanctioned territory for food vendors outside the museum is still controversial, and some believe eating outside the museum is a bad idea, period, and that the public should be prohibited from doing so in the new public plaza. In February, a Community Board member said that food-kiosk plan “spells Starbucks: a place to hang out all day and have coffee.” Another board member said, “I think if you’re providing additional seating for 400 people, I think it will be a picnic destination.” Neighbors and the museum’s board apparently agree, and the kiosk will no longer be part of the renovations, scheduled to begin next month.