Danny Meyer reinvents dining, over and over again.
One of the city’s top restaurateurs talks about how he’s turned casual dining into a four-star experience.
UNION SQUARE HOSPITALITY GROUP CEO Danny Meyer made his mark in the 1980s at the highly touted and recently relocated Union Square Cafe. His next eateries—Gramercy Tavern, Tabla, Eleven Madison Park and The Modern moved the restaurateur further into the fine dining arena, with James Beard Awards aplenty. So, how did he find himself a master of the hot dog and hamburger universe Meyer laughs at the question. “It was purely by accident,” he says. “We wanted to support the Target Art in the Park program and the revitalization of Madison Square Park, near Tabla and Eleven Madison Park. So, we set up a hot-dog stand there as part of the art pro ect, hoping to draw traffic to the park. The stand was such a hit that it evolved into our first Shake Shack.” unning a more casual food outlet, be it Shake Shack or the pizza restaurant Marta, doesn’t mean that you change your philosophy, he notes. “It’s like wearing different clothes every day or playing different music. ou still want to look great and sound great. But the style always needs to be harmonious with who you are.”—