By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — Tavern on the Green's gourmet food trucks will kick off extended hours with free food and live jazz this weekend.
The food trucks from Ladle of Love, Pera Turkish Tacos, Rickshaw Dumplings and Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream will offer one free menu item per customer from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, a Parks Department spokesman said.s
Customers can enjoy the treats while they listen to a free concert from The Blue Vipers of Brooklyn, a jazz, swing and blues band.
The event kicks off extended hours for the Tavern on The Green gourmet food trucks, which set up shop last fall outside the now-closed legendary restaurant. All four trucks will be open from 11 a.m. to dusk, seven days a week through early fall.
Aside from high-end snacks, the Parks Department is also looking to make the Tavern's terrace into a venue for special events. The Parks Department will hold a series of events called "The Scene at Tavern on the Green," including cooking demonstrations featuring celebrity chefs, live performances and family activities, a spokesman said.
The iconic restaurant, just inside Central Park near Central Park West and West 67th Street, closed last year. Once a site for weddings and Mother's Day brunches, the city converted the storied eatery into a gift shop last fall.
ED. NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect a change in the date of the event. Due to inclement weather, the launch of the food trucks' spring/summer season will take place on Sunday.