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Groups Protest Planned Restaurant In Union Square Park

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A new restaurant planned for Union Square Park is cooking up trouble among some Manhattan residents.

Several elected officials and community groups are upset over the plan, saying they want the playground they were promised to go there first. The playground has been put on hold to make room for the restaurant.

Protesters say the area needs more play space, not more restaurants, to accommodate the area's growing number of families.

“It is shameful that a children's playground, funded five years ago, has been held hostage to the business agenda,” Geoffrey Croft of NYC Park Advocates said Monday.

“We're urging the mayor and the commissioner of parks to simply come clean and come forward,” said Manhattan state Assemblyman Scott Stringer.

“What is the one thing we don't need in this neighborhood? Another incredibly expensive restaurant,” added Manhattan state Senator Thomas Duane.

Advocates for the restaurant, to be called Luna Park, argue it will generate additional revenue for the city.

The Parks Department released a statement saying it's scaled down the restaurant so it won't be open year-round, increasing the playground space by 60 percent.

Officials are now in the process of redesigning the playground.
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