Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality halts indoor, outdoor dining

Spike in Covid cases could lead to more restrictions on restaurants

Union Square Hospitality Group CEO Danny Meyer and the Union Square Cafe (Photos via Getty; Wikipedia Commons)
Union Square Hospitality Group CEO Danny Meyer and the Union Square Cafe (Photos via Getty; Wikipedia Commons)

As Covid-19 infection rates spike throughout New York City, city and state officials have closed schools and threatened to impose new restrictions in neighborhoods with rising case numbers.

But in the absence of a firm decision on indoor and outdoor dining — which could be halted if the citywide infection rate is high enough — some restaurants have decided to close on their own.

Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group suspended indoor and outdoor dining at Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern and Blue Smoke Battery Park City, according to the Commercial Observer.

“Given the growing number of positive Covid-19 cases in New York City, and even within our own USHG community, we are making the decision that is in the best interest of the health and safety of our people,” according to an email announcing the decision. “Instead, we will focus exclusively on pickup, delivery, nationwide shipping, and virtual food and wine experiences.”

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Updated restrictions are expected any day now in New York. During a press briefing last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that the entire city will likely be an orange zone — which triggers a series of restrictions including closure of nonessential businesses and the cessation of indoor dining — by December. But he and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have not yet moved to suspend dining, although bars and restaurants must abide by a 10 p.m. curfew.

Other states and counties have already made the move to limit when and how restaurants can operate. In Los Angeles, outdoor dining will be suspended as of Nov. 25, while the rest of the state is under limited stay-at-home order.

[CO] — Sasha Jones