New Yorkers enjoy mocking Philadelphia from time to time, either by pretending it doesn't exist or by angrily denouncing it when it gets something good comes our way. Even semi-New Yorkers hate Philly. Is this disapproval motivating the controversy around Philly's Beau Monde winning the bid to take over the legendary NYC eatery Tavern on the Green? Eater Philly thinks so:
Some New Yorkers are pretty miffed that the Philly team of Jim Caiola and David Salama won the bid to take over Central Park's famous Tavern on the Green. On Saturday, The New York Post reported that Caiola's sister is married to Kevin Sheekey, the former Deputy Mayor of New York City, and are claiming that those family ties cinched the deal, as opposed to a worthy plan. The notion that there was favoritism involved—which the Post "learned," as David Seifman put it—seems like a stretch.
The kind of stretch, in fact, that makes you wonder if the Post was either digging for dirt or got a tip from someone who doesn't like Sheekey much. Because it's not exactly a major scoop. A lot of Philadelphians know people or are related to people who live in New York. Those people have jobs. The fact that one of the people on the Philly bidding team has a sister who lives in New York and is married to a guy who used to work in city government? Meh.
And let's not get carried away with her husband's status: He hasn't worked at New York's City Hall for two years. It's hard to imagine he'd have much sway with the Park Service, which was in charge of the decision. If he is Bloomberg's confidant, and this is what Bloomberg is spending his time on these days—handicapping a bidding process for a restaurant as a favor to a former adviser whose wife's brother is one of the bidders—New York has problems indeed.
Now the City Comptroller's office has started an investigation into the matter because, as former Parks Commissioner Henry Stern said of Tavern on the Green to the Post's Michael Gartland: “This isn’t some hot-dog stand on Delancey Street." That is for sure.
· Philly Takeover of Tavern on the Green Pisses Off NYC [Eater Philly]
· Winning Tavern on the Green bidders have family connections to one of Bloomberg's top confidants
Liu starts Tavern bid probe