Iconic Boathouse in Central Park lays off staff, closed through 2021

CENTRAL PARK (WABC) -- The legendary Loeb Boathouse restaurant in Central Park has temporarily closed its doors and laid off its staff amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials with the NYC Parks Department said the restaurant closed in mid-March due to coronavirus and has not reopened.

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The restaurant is operated under a concession license agreement administered by NYC Parks. They say they have not been charging monthly license fees during the pandemic-driven closure.

A representative with the Boathouse said they have been in talks with the city and intend to reopen next spring in April of 2021.

They say ongoing discussions are taking place with NYC officials to figure out how the Boathouse can safely reopen and rehire the 175 employees that were laid off.

The famed restaurant is known for its rowboats that can be rented to explore the lake.

According to its website, the Loeb Boathouse is the only Manhattan venue right on a lake.

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The sense of doom grew, especially after March 1, when the first confirmed case arrived in Manhattan. Soon, there was a hotspot in New Rochelle, and small curfews and containment zones across the area offered a hint of a frightening future we still thought we could avoid.

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