Jump to content

Union Square Hospitality Group


Recommended Posts

Sounds like EMP jumped the shark after Danny Meyer sold the restaurant.

This could be, but I went when Meyer *did* own it (this was in 2002 or 2003), and it wasn't anything even resembling a Michelin 3-Star restaurant then.

Quite honestly, I think Danny Meyer has jumped the shark (actually, "selling out" and becoming wildly rich and famous is very different than "jumping the shark" and throwing a Hail Mary pass to try and save an institution past its prime, so my terminology is flawed).

Not touching the Danny Meyer comment other than to say that accusing him of "selling out" (whatever that means) is a gross simplification.

Keith, not only did you "touch" the comment, you slammed it to the ground, starting with the rhetorical word, "accusing." I understand you may not want to argue (and quite honestly, neither do I), but let's at least be forthright.

Writing one sentence - literally, one sentence - about a subject does tend to result in oversimplification.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Keith, not only did you "touch" the comment, you slammed it to the ground, starting with the rhetorical word, "accusing." I understand you may not want to argue (and quite honestly, neither do I), but let's at least be forthright.

Writing one sentence - literally, one sentence - about a subject does tend to result in oversimplification.

Fair enough, and you are right, I don't want to argue. BUT, I also wouldn't want to be accused of "selling out"  ( a pejorative expression for the compromising of a person's integrity, morality, authenticity, or principles in exchange for personal gain, such as money - thanks wikipedia) especially if I was already rich and famous prior to a well-publicized IPO, walked the walk in terms of employee benefits and culture long before it became a "thing", lived in restaurants for over 30 years slowly building USHG and hadn't compromised morality, authenticity or principle to do so.

Full disclosure: An immediate family member serves on a board with Danny Meyer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fair enough, and you are right, I don't want to argue. BUT, I also wouldn't want to be accused of "selling out"  ( a pejorative expression for the compromising of a person's integrity, morality, authenticity, or principles in exchange for personal gain, such as money - thanks wikipedia) especially if I was already rich and famous prior to a well-publicized IPO, walked the walk in terms of employee benefits and culture long before it became a "thing", lived in restaurants for over 30 years slowly building USHG and hadn't compromised morality, authenticity or principle to do so.

Full disclosure: An immediate family member serves on a board with Danny Meyer.

Okay, I agree. No argument here - I shouldn't have used that expression.

(Note to every other comment section on every other website in the world: See how easy that was?)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I frigging adore Danny Meyer.  I don't know him, I couldn't pick him out of a line up.  But I wish more restaurateurs were as serious about their craft as he is.

From Union Square Cafe to Blue Smoke to Eleven Madison Park (back in the day) to the Modern to Shake Shack--I have only had one disappointing experience at one of his places (Shake Shack Dupont) and the manager quickly and cheerfully made that right.  This is going back to the mid 90s to April of this year.

Given a choice between a Danny Meyer place and a non-Danny Meyer place in NYC, I will always go with Danny Meyer.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In August I was finally able to try the new Union Square Cafe. Everything written about it is pretty spot on -- it's incredibly airy and bright and welcoming. Four of us had a downstairs table for lunch. Disclosure: a close friend is a somm there, so they were generous with gratis dishes. Between us we were able to try from every menu category and there wasn't a single dish that didn't sparkle in its execution. A funk-curious sparkling rose was a perfect pairing on an 85-degree, high humidity day.

The one curious lapse was, oddly enough, our server who was either new or high or whatever. Basic things went unattended, spilled drinks, etc.

After a pit stop at the bar, we wandered over to Maialino (another friend) - I was too full to (fully) partake in more food (ed: okay fine, i kept stuffing my face because I'm a garbage person), but I highly recommend the somm counter thing in between the front and back dining rooms. Our one server notwithstanding, I can assure that service was on point and food still shines in these two parts of the Meyer empire. 

On 9/8/2015 at 12:12 PM, bookluvingbabe said:

Given a choice between a Danny Meyer place and a non-Danny Meyer place in NYC, I will always go with Danny Meyer.

This seems like solid advice.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/13/2017 at 1:02 PM, saxdrop said:

This seems like solid advice.

Don't forget, however, that Danny Meyer is a different person than he was twenty years ago - he's worth several hundred million dollars, and his priorities have changed almost by definition. Shake Shack was cute when there were 1-2 of them, but Meyer's primary responsibility now is almost surely managing his wealth.

SHAK was a food cart in 2004, but currently has a market cap of $1.35 billion.

This is not an indictment of the man, and I'm happy for his success, but I wouldn't assume that nothing has changed.

His emphasis on customer service was wise and intelligent, but a lot of his reputation has been driven by massive amounts of PR and marketing (this is not a bad thing, but it certainly hasn't *understated* that aspect of him. If you read the press, it's like, "There's Danny Meyer, and there's everyone else," and that's simply not true - never has been).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

Don't forget, however, that Danny Meyer is a different person than he was twenty years ago - he's worth several hundred million dollars, and his priorities have changed almost by definition. Shake Shack was cute when there were 1-2 of them, but Meyer's primary responsibility now is almost surely managing his wealth.

SHAK was a food cart in 2004, but currently has a market cap of $1.35 billion.

This is not an indictment of the man, and I'm happy for his success, but I wouldn't assume that nothing has changed.

His emphasis on customer service was wise and intelligent, but a lot of his reputation has been driven by massive amounts of PR and marketing (this is not a bad thing, but it certainly hasn't *understated* that aspect of him. If you read the press, it's like, "There's Danny Meyer, and there's everyone else," and that's simply not true - never has been).

Good point. Perhaps I could revise the advice to:  

Given a choice between a Danny Meyer Union Square Hospitality Group place and a non-Danny Meyer Union Square Hospitality Group place in NYC, I will always go with Danny Meyer.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 minutes ago, saxdrop said:

Good point. Perhaps I could revise the advice to:  

Given a choice between a Danny Meyer Union Square Hospitality Group place and a non-Danny Meyer Union Square Hospitality Group place in NYC, I will always go with Danny Meyer.

Or, perhaps the original advice is correct - I really don't know. In general, I'm just trying to think critically and not to assume that things are as they appear (or as they were). I'm also often wrong (but never in doubt). :) You know, like as of Dec 31, 2016, neither Federer nor Nadal are likely to win any more majors. <_< I guess I never actually said that, but the thought did cross my mind.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Don't forget, however, that Danny Meyer is a different person than he was twenty years ago - he's worth several hundred million dollars, and his priorities have changed almost by definition. Shake Shack was cute when there were 1-2 of them, but Meyer's primary responsibility now is almost surely managing his wealth.

SHAK was a food cart in 2004, but currently has a market cap of $1.35 billion.

This is not an indictment of the man, and I'm happy for his success, but I wouldn't assume that nothing has changed.

His emphasis on customer service was wise and intelligent, but a lot of his reputation has been driven by massive amounts of PR and marketing (this is not a bad thing, but it certainly hasn't *understated* that aspect of him. If you read the press, it's like, "There's Danny Meyer, and there's everyone else," and that's simply not true - never has been).

This 60 Minutes piece paints the picture that he is still very much involved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/30/2017 at 3:56 PM, DonRocks said:

Or, perhaps the original advice is correct - I really don't know. In general, I'm just trying to think critically and not to assume that things are as they appear (or as they were). I'm also often wrong (but never in doubt). :) You know, like as of Dec 31, 2016, neither Federer nor Nadal are likely to win any more majors. <_< I guess I never actually said that, but the thought did cross my mind.

We don't get to NY the way we used to so it is hard for me to say.  I guess my hope is that while there might be better meals to be had in NYC, a Danny Meyer owned (non-Shake Shack) place is much less likely to screw things up service wise...  But I could be wrong

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...