By Michael Ventura
DNAinfo Senior Editor
MANHATTAN — New York City can keep the famous "Tavern on the Green" name for the restaurant building in Central Park, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.
The bankrupt restaurant served its last meal on New Year's Eve, and items from the eatery — from salt shakers to chandeliers — were auctioned off in January to raise money to cover the debt.
Holders of the restaurant's debt had sought to stop the city from using the name in the future, the Associated Press reported. The name was valued at $19 million.
“This is a major victory for the City and all New Yorkers," the city's Corporation Counsel Michael A. Cardozo said in a statement. "We have ensured that the legacy of the long-treasured restaurant will be preserved for generations to come.”
The LeRoy family had operated the restaurant since 1973, and its bankruptcy filing last year sparked a trademark dispute between the family and the city once the city tried to bring in a new manager for the space.
In her decision, Judge Miriam Cederbaum said that the city had traditionally named each concession manager at the restaurant so that its name "was closely associated in the public mind with a building owned by the city and "located in New York's Central Park."
The restaurant had been in the park since 1934. It closed on New Year's Eve.