Tavern on the Green owners tap lobbyist Suri Kasirer as union talks loom

Restaurant group hopes to construct revenue-producing parking lot

Tavern on the Green (inset: Suri Kasirer)
Tavern on the Green (inset: Suri Kasirer)

With union talks looming — as well as a plan to build a new parking lot — the owners of Tavern on the Green have called in one of New York City’s toughest lobbyists.

David Salama and Jim Caiola, who operate the Central Park eatery under the Emerald Green Group name, quietly brought aboard lobbying powerhouse Suri Kasirer earlier in the year, the New York Post reported.
Her firm Kasirer Consulting, which has represented major real estate players including SL Green Realty [TRDataCustom], Elad Properties and Extell Development, pulled in $7.7 million in fees last year from clients who were looking to influence city government, Crain’s reported.

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It’s unclear what the company’s role will be as negotiations with the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council gets underway. Tavern on the Green employees voted in June to join the union, and negotiations on behalf of 267 non-management employees are due to begin soon.

Salama and Caiola also want the city to green light their plan to set up a parking lot next door, which they believe could bring in $3 million annually in additional revenue.

The restaurant did well over the summer, according to the tabloid, with the nearly 600 indoor and outdoor seats regularly filled. The union’s tough terms are believed to have been one of the reasons the restaurant closed under prior owners several years ago. [NYP] — Miriam Hall