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Danny Meyer Is Opening New Restaurants in Washington and New York

Danny Meyer Is Opening New Restaurants in Washington and New York

Union Square Cafe is opening up a large second location, and Danny Meyer is taking his latest original vision to the skies

Meyer already has 15 restaurants, most of which are in New York.

Danny Meyer (Shake Shack, Gramercy Tavern) is keeping busy with two new restaurants to add to his culinary roster. Union Square Cafe — which will be expanding for the first time — is opening a second location in the soon-to-be-built Capitol Crossing in Washington, according to Washingtonian. Union Square Hospitality Group will also be opening a new restaurant in New York’s Financial District on the 60th floor of 28 Liberty Street, near the Federal Reserve, with dizzying 360-degree views of the city.

Not much is known about the second chapter of the Union Square Cafe, which is set to open when construction is finished at Capitol Crossing. The entire complex will be open to the public in 2022. The original Union Square Cafe in New York just re-opened this past spring on 19th Street after losing its lease in December 2015.

The sky-high $30 million project coming soon to the Financial District remains unnamed, but Meyer is hoping for an approachable menu and experience. “I want to make a restaurant that I would want to go [to] even if it did not have a great view, that I would want to go to frequently,” he told Eater.

The restaurant will have enough space for grand events and will contain the highest ballroom in the city, according to the New York Post.


10 Questions For Restaurateur Danny Meyer

RI-region readers will be pleased to know that they can call Danny Meyer, the consummate restaurateur, one of their own. For over 30 years he has operated some of the most successful restaurants in Manhattan, including Union Square Café, which he opened in 1985 Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, The Modern and the cafés at MOMA Jazz Standard, and Maialino. There are all (or have been) successful &mdash a testament to his expertise and his ability to find the right space, the right food, and the right staff. In addition to fine dining, Danny also started the super successful Shake Shack franchise. We met up Danny, who has a home in Washington, Conn., and discussed what makes it all work for him.

1. What path were you on before you got into the food business?
I went to Trinity College and majored in Political Science. I always loved the news and current events, and volunteered on several political campaigns as early as the age of ten. I worked in a professional capacity as a Cook County field coordinator for John Anderson&rsquos 1980 presidential campaign. I became increasingly interested in public policy. Because I didn&rsquot have any imagination I decided the only thing I could do is go and get a law degree, which happily I did not do.

2. What prompted the interest in food?
My dad taught me about gastronomy and my mother about hospitality. My passion for both things began at local restaurants in St. Louis. Because of my dad&rsquos travel business I got to spend time in Rome, which only added to my burgeoning love of food. When I was working as a tour guide and when I went to school in Rome studying international politics, I found that those two activities always played second fiddle to going out to restaurants. It didn&rsquot dawn on me then that I would have a career in creating culinary pleasures for other people.

3. You opened Union Square Café in 1985 on East 16th Street, which was not a great area at the time. Why there?
The mother of a college friend who was in the real estate business advised me to focus on the area around Union Square. Many companies, especially publishers, were moving there and they entertain a lot. The greenmarket was there, and most importantly, the rents were low.

4. How many restaurants does the Union Square Hospitality Group run now?
What is a restaurant and what&rsquos not? We have five different places to eat at CitiFields alone. We serve food at the Delacorte in Central Park. In terms, of full service, fine dining restaurants, I think it&rsquos fair to say there are ten full service restaurants in New York.

5. In your book Setting the Table, you write that service and hospitality are essential for a successful restaurant. Do you feel that they can overcome mediocre food?
Absolutely. If the food is mediocre I won&rsquot go back a third time. If hospitality and service are mediocre I won&rsquot go back a second time.

6. What&rsquos changed in the food industry since you started out?
I&rsquoll start by saying what hasn&rsquot changed: human beings like to be with other human beings and don&rsquot always like to shop and cook and do the dishes. Restaurants continue to be places where people can come together across the table. What has changed is the myriad ways you can eat food. Punch in your smartphone and have something delivered wherever you are. People&rsquos interest in food has only grown and technology has added new ways to provide it.

7. What advice would you give someone wanting to enter the food or hospitality industry?
Ask yourself these three questions: Am I obsessed with food and drink? Do I get a huge psychic payoff for sharing my passion with other people? Do I have an amazing work ethic and stamina? If the answers are affirmative, then you need to do it.

8. Who inspires you and what keeps you going?
My colleagues and our guests. They inspire me to keep reaching further and higher.

9. How much time do you get to spend in Litchfield County, and when you are here, what do you like to do?
We don&rsquot get here nearly enough. Out of 52 weekends, we get in 10 to 12. But when we&rsquore here, we cook a lot, especially outside in the summer. We have a wonderful vegetable garden and we run every day we are here. We hike at Steep Rock and the Appalachian Trail. I love to take in that gorgeous nature.

10. Do you have any thoughts about the restaurant scene in Litchfield County?
I&rsquom very happy about Joel Viehland&rsquos new restaurants and that a new restaurant is opening in his former place, Community Table.


10 Questions For Restaurateur Danny Meyer

RI-region readers will be pleased to know that they can call Danny Meyer, the consummate restaurateur, one of their own. For over 30 years he has operated some of the most successful restaurants in Manhattan, including Union Square Café, which he opened in 1985 Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, The Modern and the cafés at MOMA Jazz Standard, and Maialino. There are all (or have been) successful &mdash a testament to his expertise and his ability to find the right space, the right food, and the right staff. In addition to fine dining, Danny also started the super successful Shake Shack franchise. We met up Danny, who has a home in Washington, Conn., and discussed what makes it all work for him.

1. What path were you on before you got into the food business?
I went to Trinity College and majored in Political Science. I always loved the news and current events, and volunteered on several political campaigns as early as the age of ten. I worked in a professional capacity as a Cook County field coordinator for John Anderson&rsquos 1980 presidential campaign. I became increasingly interested in public policy. Because I didn&rsquot have any imagination I decided the only thing I could do is go and get a law degree, which happily I did not do.

2. What prompted the interest in food?
My dad taught me about gastronomy and my mother about hospitality. My passion for both things began at local restaurants in St. Louis. Because of my dad&rsquos travel business I got to spend time in Rome, which only added to my burgeoning love of food. When I was working as a tour guide and when I went to school in Rome studying international politics, I found that those two activities always played second fiddle to going out to restaurants. It didn&rsquot dawn on me then that I would have a career in creating culinary pleasures for other people.

3. You opened Union Square Café in 1985 on East 16th Street, which was not a great area at the time. Why there?
The mother of a college friend who was in the real estate business advised me to focus on the area around Union Square. Many companies, especially publishers, were moving there and they entertain a lot. The greenmarket was there, and most importantly, the rents were low.

4. How many restaurants does the Union Square Hospitality Group run now?
What is a restaurant and what&rsquos not? We have five different places to eat at CitiFields alone. We serve food at the Delacorte in Central Park. In terms, of full service, fine dining restaurants, I think it&rsquos fair to say there are ten full service restaurants in New York.

5. In your book Setting the Table, you write that service and hospitality are essential for a successful restaurant. Do you feel that they can overcome mediocre food?
Absolutely. If the food is mediocre I won&rsquot go back a third time. If hospitality and service are mediocre I won&rsquot go back a second time.

6. What&rsquos changed in the food industry since you started out?
I&rsquoll start by saying what hasn&rsquot changed: human beings like to be with other human beings and don&rsquot always like to shop and cook and do the dishes. Restaurants continue to be places where people can come together across the table. What has changed is the myriad ways you can eat food. Punch in your smartphone and have something delivered wherever you are. People&rsquos interest in food has only grown and technology has added new ways to provide it.

7. What advice would you give someone wanting to enter the food or hospitality industry?
Ask yourself these three questions: Am I obsessed with food and drink? Do I get a huge psychic payoff for sharing my passion with other people? Do I have an amazing work ethic and stamina? If the answers are affirmative, then you need to do it.

8. Who inspires you and what keeps you going?
My colleagues and our guests. They inspire me to keep reaching further and higher.

9. How much time do you get to spend in Litchfield County, and when you are here, what do you like to do?
We don&rsquot get here nearly enough. Out of 52 weekends, we get in 10 to 12. But when we&rsquore here, we cook a lot, especially outside in the summer. We have a wonderful vegetable garden and we run every day we are here. We hike at Steep Rock and the Appalachian Trail. I love to take in that gorgeous nature.

10. Do you have any thoughts about the restaurant scene in Litchfield County?
I&rsquom very happy about Joel Viehland&rsquos new restaurants and that a new restaurant is opening in his former place, Community Table.


10 Questions For Restaurateur Danny Meyer

RI-region readers will be pleased to know that they can call Danny Meyer, the consummate restaurateur, one of their own. For over 30 years he has operated some of the most successful restaurants in Manhattan, including Union Square Café, which he opened in 1985 Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, The Modern and the cafés at MOMA Jazz Standard, and Maialino. There are all (or have been) successful &mdash a testament to his expertise and his ability to find the right space, the right food, and the right staff. In addition to fine dining, Danny also started the super successful Shake Shack franchise. We met up Danny, who has a home in Washington, Conn., and discussed what makes it all work for him.

1. What path were you on before you got into the food business?
I went to Trinity College and majored in Political Science. I always loved the news and current events, and volunteered on several political campaigns as early as the age of ten. I worked in a professional capacity as a Cook County field coordinator for John Anderson&rsquos 1980 presidential campaign. I became increasingly interested in public policy. Because I didn&rsquot have any imagination I decided the only thing I could do is go and get a law degree, which happily I did not do.

2. What prompted the interest in food?
My dad taught me about gastronomy and my mother about hospitality. My passion for both things began at local restaurants in St. Louis. Because of my dad&rsquos travel business I got to spend time in Rome, which only added to my burgeoning love of food. When I was working as a tour guide and when I went to school in Rome studying international politics, I found that those two activities always played second fiddle to going out to restaurants. It didn&rsquot dawn on me then that I would have a career in creating culinary pleasures for other people.

3. You opened Union Square Café in 1985 on East 16th Street, which was not a great area at the time. Why there?
The mother of a college friend who was in the real estate business advised me to focus on the area around Union Square. Many companies, especially publishers, were moving there and they entertain a lot. The greenmarket was there, and most importantly, the rents were low.

4. How many restaurants does the Union Square Hospitality Group run now?
What is a restaurant and what&rsquos not? We have five different places to eat at CitiFields alone. We serve food at the Delacorte in Central Park. In terms, of full service, fine dining restaurants, I think it&rsquos fair to say there are ten full service restaurants in New York.

5. In your book Setting the Table, you write that service and hospitality are essential for a successful restaurant. Do you feel that they can overcome mediocre food?
Absolutely. If the food is mediocre I won&rsquot go back a third time. If hospitality and service are mediocre I won&rsquot go back a second time.

6. What&rsquos changed in the food industry since you started out?
I&rsquoll start by saying what hasn&rsquot changed: human beings like to be with other human beings and don&rsquot always like to shop and cook and do the dishes. Restaurants continue to be places where people can come together across the table. What has changed is the myriad ways you can eat food. Punch in your smartphone and have something delivered wherever you are. People&rsquos interest in food has only grown and technology has added new ways to provide it.

7. What advice would you give someone wanting to enter the food or hospitality industry?
Ask yourself these three questions: Am I obsessed with food and drink? Do I get a huge psychic payoff for sharing my passion with other people? Do I have an amazing work ethic and stamina? If the answers are affirmative, then you need to do it.

8. Who inspires you and what keeps you going?
My colleagues and our guests. They inspire me to keep reaching further and higher.

9. How much time do you get to spend in Litchfield County, and when you are here, what do you like to do?
We don&rsquot get here nearly enough. Out of 52 weekends, we get in 10 to 12. But when we&rsquore here, we cook a lot, especially outside in the summer. We have a wonderful vegetable garden and we run every day we are here. We hike at Steep Rock and the Appalachian Trail. I love to take in that gorgeous nature.

10. Do you have any thoughts about the restaurant scene in Litchfield County?
I&rsquom very happy about Joel Viehland&rsquos new restaurants and that a new restaurant is opening in his former place, Community Table.


10 Questions For Restaurateur Danny Meyer

RI-region readers will be pleased to know that they can call Danny Meyer, the consummate restaurateur, one of their own. For over 30 years he has operated some of the most successful restaurants in Manhattan, including Union Square Café, which he opened in 1985 Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, The Modern and the cafés at MOMA Jazz Standard, and Maialino. There are all (or have been) successful &mdash a testament to his expertise and his ability to find the right space, the right food, and the right staff. In addition to fine dining, Danny also started the super successful Shake Shack franchise. We met up Danny, who has a home in Washington, Conn., and discussed what makes it all work for him.

1. What path were you on before you got into the food business?
I went to Trinity College and majored in Political Science. I always loved the news and current events, and volunteered on several political campaigns as early as the age of ten. I worked in a professional capacity as a Cook County field coordinator for John Anderson&rsquos 1980 presidential campaign. I became increasingly interested in public policy. Because I didn&rsquot have any imagination I decided the only thing I could do is go and get a law degree, which happily I did not do.

2. What prompted the interest in food?
My dad taught me about gastronomy and my mother about hospitality. My passion for both things began at local restaurants in St. Louis. Because of my dad&rsquos travel business I got to spend time in Rome, which only added to my burgeoning love of food. When I was working as a tour guide and when I went to school in Rome studying international politics, I found that those two activities always played second fiddle to going out to restaurants. It didn&rsquot dawn on me then that I would have a career in creating culinary pleasures for other people.

3. You opened Union Square Café in 1985 on East 16th Street, which was not a great area at the time. Why there?
The mother of a college friend who was in the real estate business advised me to focus on the area around Union Square. Many companies, especially publishers, were moving there and they entertain a lot. The greenmarket was there, and most importantly, the rents were low.

4. How many restaurants does the Union Square Hospitality Group run now?
What is a restaurant and what&rsquos not? We have five different places to eat at CitiFields alone. We serve food at the Delacorte in Central Park. In terms, of full service, fine dining restaurants, I think it&rsquos fair to say there are ten full service restaurants in New York.

5. In your book Setting the Table, you write that service and hospitality are essential for a successful restaurant. Do you feel that they can overcome mediocre food?
Absolutely. If the food is mediocre I won&rsquot go back a third time. If hospitality and service are mediocre I won&rsquot go back a second time.

6. What&rsquos changed in the food industry since you started out?
I&rsquoll start by saying what hasn&rsquot changed: human beings like to be with other human beings and don&rsquot always like to shop and cook and do the dishes. Restaurants continue to be places where people can come together across the table. What has changed is the myriad ways you can eat food. Punch in your smartphone and have something delivered wherever you are. People&rsquos interest in food has only grown and technology has added new ways to provide it.

7. What advice would you give someone wanting to enter the food or hospitality industry?
Ask yourself these three questions: Am I obsessed with food and drink? Do I get a huge psychic payoff for sharing my passion with other people? Do I have an amazing work ethic and stamina? If the answers are affirmative, then you need to do it.

8. Who inspires you and what keeps you going?
My colleagues and our guests. They inspire me to keep reaching further and higher.

9. How much time do you get to spend in Litchfield County, and when you are here, what do you like to do?
We don&rsquot get here nearly enough. Out of 52 weekends, we get in 10 to 12. But when we&rsquore here, we cook a lot, especially outside in the summer. We have a wonderful vegetable garden and we run every day we are here. We hike at Steep Rock and the Appalachian Trail. I love to take in that gorgeous nature.

10. Do you have any thoughts about the restaurant scene in Litchfield County?
I&rsquom very happy about Joel Viehland&rsquos new restaurants and that a new restaurant is opening in his former place, Community Table.


10 Questions For Restaurateur Danny Meyer

RI-region readers will be pleased to know that they can call Danny Meyer, the consummate restaurateur, one of their own. For over 30 years he has operated some of the most successful restaurants in Manhattan, including Union Square Café, which he opened in 1985 Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, The Modern and the cafés at MOMA Jazz Standard, and Maialino. There are all (or have been) successful &mdash a testament to his expertise and his ability to find the right space, the right food, and the right staff. In addition to fine dining, Danny also started the super successful Shake Shack franchise. We met up Danny, who has a home in Washington, Conn., and discussed what makes it all work for him.

1. What path were you on before you got into the food business?
I went to Trinity College and majored in Political Science. I always loved the news and current events, and volunteered on several political campaigns as early as the age of ten. I worked in a professional capacity as a Cook County field coordinator for John Anderson&rsquos 1980 presidential campaign. I became increasingly interested in public policy. Because I didn&rsquot have any imagination I decided the only thing I could do is go and get a law degree, which happily I did not do.

2. What prompted the interest in food?
My dad taught me about gastronomy and my mother about hospitality. My passion for both things began at local restaurants in St. Louis. Because of my dad&rsquos travel business I got to spend time in Rome, which only added to my burgeoning love of food. When I was working as a tour guide and when I went to school in Rome studying international politics, I found that those two activities always played second fiddle to going out to restaurants. It didn&rsquot dawn on me then that I would have a career in creating culinary pleasures for other people.

3. You opened Union Square Café in 1985 on East 16th Street, which was not a great area at the time. Why there?
The mother of a college friend who was in the real estate business advised me to focus on the area around Union Square. Many companies, especially publishers, were moving there and they entertain a lot. The greenmarket was there, and most importantly, the rents were low.

4. How many restaurants does the Union Square Hospitality Group run now?
What is a restaurant and what&rsquos not? We have five different places to eat at CitiFields alone. We serve food at the Delacorte in Central Park. In terms, of full service, fine dining restaurants, I think it&rsquos fair to say there are ten full service restaurants in New York.

5. In your book Setting the Table, you write that service and hospitality are essential for a successful restaurant. Do you feel that they can overcome mediocre food?
Absolutely. If the food is mediocre I won&rsquot go back a third time. If hospitality and service are mediocre I won&rsquot go back a second time.

6. What&rsquos changed in the food industry since you started out?
I&rsquoll start by saying what hasn&rsquot changed: human beings like to be with other human beings and don&rsquot always like to shop and cook and do the dishes. Restaurants continue to be places where people can come together across the table. What has changed is the myriad ways you can eat food. Punch in your smartphone and have something delivered wherever you are. People&rsquos interest in food has only grown and technology has added new ways to provide it.

7. What advice would you give someone wanting to enter the food or hospitality industry?
Ask yourself these three questions: Am I obsessed with food and drink? Do I get a huge psychic payoff for sharing my passion with other people? Do I have an amazing work ethic and stamina? If the answers are affirmative, then you need to do it.

8. Who inspires you and what keeps you going?
My colleagues and our guests. They inspire me to keep reaching further and higher.

9. How much time do you get to spend in Litchfield County, and when you are here, what do you like to do?
We don&rsquot get here nearly enough. Out of 52 weekends, we get in 10 to 12. But when we&rsquore here, we cook a lot, especially outside in the summer. We have a wonderful vegetable garden and we run every day we are here. We hike at Steep Rock and the Appalachian Trail. I love to take in that gorgeous nature.

10. Do you have any thoughts about the restaurant scene in Litchfield County?
I&rsquom very happy about Joel Viehland&rsquos new restaurants and that a new restaurant is opening in his former place, Community Table.


10 Questions For Restaurateur Danny Meyer

RI-region readers will be pleased to know that they can call Danny Meyer, the consummate restaurateur, one of their own. For over 30 years he has operated some of the most successful restaurants in Manhattan, including Union Square Café, which he opened in 1985 Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, The Modern and the cafés at MOMA Jazz Standard, and Maialino. There are all (or have been) successful &mdash a testament to his expertise and his ability to find the right space, the right food, and the right staff. In addition to fine dining, Danny also started the super successful Shake Shack franchise. We met up Danny, who has a home in Washington, Conn., and discussed what makes it all work for him.

1. What path were you on before you got into the food business?
I went to Trinity College and majored in Political Science. I always loved the news and current events, and volunteered on several political campaigns as early as the age of ten. I worked in a professional capacity as a Cook County field coordinator for John Anderson&rsquos 1980 presidential campaign. I became increasingly interested in public policy. Because I didn&rsquot have any imagination I decided the only thing I could do is go and get a law degree, which happily I did not do.

2. What prompted the interest in food?
My dad taught me about gastronomy and my mother about hospitality. My passion for both things began at local restaurants in St. Louis. Because of my dad&rsquos travel business I got to spend time in Rome, which only added to my burgeoning love of food. When I was working as a tour guide and when I went to school in Rome studying international politics, I found that those two activities always played second fiddle to going out to restaurants. It didn&rsquot dawn on me then that I would have a career in creating culinary pleasures for other people.

3. You opened Union Square Café in 1985 on East 16th Street, which was not a great area at the time. Why there?
The mother of a college friend who was in the real estate business advised me to focus on the area around Union Square. Many companies, especially publishers, were moving there and they entertain a lot. The greenmarket was there, and most importantly, the rents were low.

4. How many restaurants does the Union Square Hospitality Group run now?
What is a restaurant and what&rsquos not? We have five different places to eat at CitiFields alone. We serve food at the Delacorte in Central Park. In terms, of full service, fine dining restaurants, I think it&rsquos fair to say there are ten full service restaurants in New York.

5. In your book Setting the Table, you write that service and hospitality are essential for a successful restaurant. Do you feel that they can overcome mediocre food?
Absolutely. If the food is mediocre I won&rsquot go back a third time. If hospitality and service are mediocre I won&rsquot go back a second time.

6. What&rsquos changed in the food industry since you started out?
I&rsquoll start by saying what hasn&rsquot changed: human beings like to be with other human beings and don&rsquot always like to shop and cook and do the dishes. Restaurants continue to be places where people can come together across the table. What has changed is the myriad ways you can eat food. Punch in your smartphone and have something delivered wherever you are. People&rsquos interest in food has only grown and technology has added new ways to provide it.

7. What advice would you give someone wanting to enter the food or hospitality industry?
Ask yourself these three questions: Am I obsessed with food and drink? Do I get a huge psychic payoff for sharing my passion with other people? Do I have an amazing work ethic and stamina? If the answers are affirmative, then you need to do it.

8. Who inspires you and what keeps you going?
My colleagues and our guests. They inspire me to keep reaching further and higher.

9. How much time do you get to spend in Litchfield County, and when you are here, what do you like to do?
We don&rsquot get here nearly enough. Out of 52 weekends, we get in 10 to 12. But when we&rsquore here, we cook a lot, especially outside in the summer. We have a wonderful vegetable garden and we run every day we are here. We hike at Steep Rock and the Appalachian Trail. I love to take in that gorgeous nature.

10. Do you have any thoughts about the restaurant scene in Litchfield County?
I&rsquom very happy about Joel Viehland&rsquos new restaurants and that a new restaurant is opening in his former place, Community Table.


10 Questions For Restaurateur Danny Meyer

RI-region readers will be pleased to know that they can call Danny Meyer, the consummate restaurateur, one of their own. For over 30 years he has operated some of the most successful restaurants in Manhattan, including Union Square Café, which he opened in 1985 Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, The Modern and the cafés at MOMA Jazz Standard, and Maialino. There are all (or have been) successful &mdash a testament to his expertise and his ability to find the right space, the right food, and the right staff. In addition to fine dining, Danny also started the super successful Shake Shack franchise. We met up Danny, who has a home in Washington, Conn., and discussed what makes it all work for him.

1. What path were you on before you got into the food business?
I went to Trinity College and majored in Political Science. I always loved the news and current events, and volunteered on several political campaigns as early as the age of ten. I worked in a professional capacity as a Cook County field coordinator for John Anderson&rsquos 1980 presidential campaign. I became increasingly interested in public policy. Because I didn&rsquot have any imagination I decided the only thing I could do is go and get a law degree, which happily I did not do.

2. What prompted the interest in food?
My dad taught me about gastronomy and my mother about hospitality. My passion for both things began at local restaurants in St. Louis. Because of my dad&rsquos travel business I got to spend time in Rome, which only added to my burgeoning love of food. When I was working as a tour guide and when I went to school in Rome studying international politics, I found that those two activities always played second fiddle to going out to restaurants. It didn&rsquot dawn on me then that I would have a career in creating culinary pleasures for other people.

3. You opened Union Square Café in 1985 on East 16th Street, which was not a great area at the time. Why there?
The mother of a college friend who was in the real estate business advised me to focus on the area around Union Square. Many companies, especially publishers, were moving there and they entertain a lot. The greenmarket was there, and most importantly, the rents were low.

4. How many restaurants does the Union Square Hospitality Group run now?
What is a restaurant and what&rsquos not? We have five different places to eat at CitiFields alone. We serve food at the Delacorte in Central Park. In terms, of full service, fine dining restaurants, I think it&rsquos fair to say there are ten full service restaurants in New York.

5. In your book Setting the Table, you write that service and hospitality are essential for a successful restaurant. Do you feel that they can overcome mediocre food?
Absolutely. If the food is mediocre I won&rsquot go back a third time. If hospitality and service are mediocre I won&rsquot go back a second time.

6. What&rsquos changed in the food industry since you started out?
I&rsquoll start by saying what hasn&rsquot changed: human beings like to be with other human beings and don&rsquot always like to shop and cook and do the dishes. Restaurants continue to be places where people can come together across the table. What has changed is the myriad ways you can eat food. Punch in your smartphone and have something delivered wherever you are. People&rsquos interest in food has only grown and technology has added new ways to provide it.

7. What advice would you give someone wanting to enter the food or hospitality industry?
Ask yourself these three questions: Am I obsessed with food and drink? Do I get a huge psychic payoff for sharing my passion with other people? Do I have an amazing work ethic and stamina? If the answers are affirmative, then you need to do it.

8. Who inspires you and what keeps you going?
My colleagues and our guests. They inspire me to keep reaching further and higher.

9. How much time do you get to spend in Litchfield County, and when you are here, what do you like to do?
We don&rsquot get here nearly enough. Out of 52 weekends, we get in 10 to 12. But when we&rsquore here, we cook a lot, especially outside in the summer. We have a wonderful vegetable garden and we run every day we are here. We hike at Steep Rock and the Appalachian Trail. I love to take in that gorgeous nature.

10. Do you have any thoughts about the restaurant scene in Litchfield County?
I&rsquom very happy about Joel Viehland&rsquos new restaurants and that a new restaurant is opening in his former place, Community Table.


10 Questions For Restaurateur Danny Meyer

RI-region readers will be pleased to know that they can call Danny Meyer, the consummate restaurateur, one of their own. For over 30 years he has operated some of the most successful restaurants in Manhattan, including Union Square Café, which he opened in 1985 Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, The Modern and the cafés at MOMA Jazz Standard, and Maialino. There are all (or have been) successful &mdash a testament to his expertise and his ability to find the right space, the right food, and the right staff. In addition to fine dining, Danny also started the super successful Shake Shack franchise. We met up Danny, who has a home in Washington, Conn., and discussed what makes it all work for him.

1. What path were you on before you got into the food business?
I went to Trinity College and majored in Political Science. I always loved the news and current events, and volunteered on several political campaigns as early as the age of ten. I worked in a professional capacity as a Cook County field coordinator for John Anderson&rsquos 1980 presidential campaign. I became increasingly interested in public policy. Because I didn&rsquot have any imagination I decided the only thing I could do is go and get a law degree, which happily I did not do.

2. What prompted the interest in food?
My dad taught me about gastronomy and my mother about hospitality. My passion for both things began at local restaurants in St. Louis. Because of my dad&rsquos travel business I got to spend time in Rome, which only added to my burgeoning love of food. When I was working as a tour guide and when I went to school in Rome studying international politics, I found that those two activities always played second fiddle to going out to restaurants. It didn&rsquot dawn on me then that I would have a career in creating culinary pleasures for other people.

3. You opened Union Square Café in 1985 on East 16th Street, which was not a great area at the time. Why there?
The mother of a college friend who was in the real estate business advised me to focus on the area around Union Square. Many companies, especially publishers, were moving there and they entertain a lot. The greenmarket was there, and most importantly, the rents were low.

4. How many restaurants does the Union Square Hospitality Group run now?
What is a restaurant and what&rsquos not? We have five different places to eat at CitiFields alone. We serve food at the Delacorte in Central Park. In terms, of full service, fine dining restaurants, I think it&rsquos fair to say there are ten full service restaurants in New York.

5. In your book Setting the Table, you write that service and hospitality are essential for a successful restaurant. Do you feel that they can overcome mediocre food?
Absolutely. If the food is mediocre I won&rsquot go back a third time. If hospitality and service are mediocre I won&rsquot go back a second time.

6. What&rsquos changed in the food industry since you started out?
I&rsquoll start by saying what hasn&rsquot changed: human beings like to be with other human beings and don&rsquot always like to shop and cook and do the dishes. Restaurants continue to be places where people can come together across the table. What has changed is the myriad ways you can eat food. Punch in your smartphone and have something delivered wherever you are. People&rsquos interest in food has only grown and technology has added new ways to provide it.

7. What advice would you give someone wanting to enter the food or hospitality industry?
Ask yourself these three questions: Am I obsessed with food and drink? Do I get a huge psychic payoff for sharing my passion with other people? Do I have an amazing work ethic and stamina? If the answers are affirmative, then you need to do it.

8. Who inspires you and what keeps you going?
My colleagues and our guests. They inspire me to keep reaching further and higher.

9. How much time do you get to spend in Litchfield County, and when you are here, what do you like to do?
We don&rsquot get here nearly enough. Out of 52 weekends, we get in 10 to 12. But when we&rsquore here, we cook a lot, especially outside in the summer. We have a wonderful vegetable garden and we run every day we are here. We hike at Steep Rock and the Appalachian Trail. I love to take in that gorgeous nature.

10. Do you have any thoughts about the restaurant scene in Litchfield County?
I&rsquom very happy about Joel Viehland&rsquos new restaurants and that a new restaurant is opening in his former place, Community Table.


10 Questions For Restaurateur Danny Meyer

RI-region readers will be pleased to know that they can call Danny Meyer, the consummate restaurateur, one of their own. For over 30 years he has operated some of the most successful restaurants in Manhattan, including Union Square Café, which he opened in 1985 Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, The Modern and the cafés at MOMA Jazz Standard, and Maialino. There are all (or have been) successful &mdash a testament to his expertise and his ability to find the right space, the right food, and the right staff. In addition to fine dining, Danny also started the super successful Shake Shack franchise. We met up Danny, who has a home in Washington, Conn., and discussed what makes it all work for him.

1. What path were you on before you got into the food business?
I went to Trinity College and majored in Political Science. I always loved the news and current events, and volunteered on several political campaigns as early as the age of ten. I worked in a professional capacity as a Cook County field coordinator for John Anderson&rsquos 1980 presidential campaign. I became increasingly interested in public policy. Because I didn&rsquot have any imagination I decided the only thing I could do is go and get a law degree, which happily I did not do.

2. What prompted the interest in food?
My dad taught me about gastronomy and my mother about hospitality. My passion for both things began at local restaurants in St. Louis. Because of my dad&rsquos travel business I got to spend time in Rome, which only added to my burgeoning love of food. When I was working as a tour guide and when I went to school in Rome studying international politics, I found that those two activities always played second fiddle to going out to restaurants. It didn&rsquot dawn on me then that I would have a career in creating culinary pleasures for other people.

3. You opened Union Square Café in 1985 on East 16th Street, which was not a great area at the time. Why there?
The mother of a college friend who was in the real estate business advised me to focus on the area around Union Square. Many companies, especially publishers, were moving there and they entertain a lot. The greenmarket was there, and most importantly, the rents were low.

4. How many restaurants does the Union Square Hospitality Group run now?
What is a restaurant and what&rsquos not? We have five different places to eat at CitiFields alone. We serve food at the Delacorte in Central Park. In terms, of full service, fine dining restaurants, I think it&rsquos fair to say there are ten full service restaurants in New York.

5. In your book Setting the Table, you write that service and hospitality are essential for a successful restaurant. Do you feel that they can overcome mediocre food?
Absolutely. If the food is mediocre I won&rsquot go back a third time. If hospitality and service are mediocre I won&rsquot go back a second time.

6. What&rsquos changed in the food industry since you started out?
I&rsquoll start by saying what hasn&rsquot changed: human beings like to be with other human beings and don&rsquot always like to shop and cook and do the dishes. Restaurants continue to be places where people can come together across the table. What has changed is the myriad ways you can eat food. Punch in your smartphone and have something delivered wherever you are. People&rsquos interest in food has only grown and technology has added new ways to provide it.

7. What advice would you give someone wanting to enter the food or hospitality industry?
Ask yourself these three questions: Am I obsessed with food and drink? Do I get a huge psychic payoff for sharing my passion with other people? Do I have an amazing work ethic and stamina? If the answers are affirmative, then you need to do it.

8. Who inspires you and what keeps you going?
My colleagues and our guests. They inspire me to keep reaching further and higher.

9. How much time do you get to spend in Litchfield County, and when you are here, what do you like to do?
We don&rsquot get here nearly enough. Out of 52 weekends, we get in 10 to 12. But when we&rsquore here, we cook a lot, especially outside in the summer. We have a wonderful vegetable garden and we run every day we are here. We hike at Steep Rock and the Appalachian Trail. I love to take in that gorgeous nature.

10. Do you have any thoughts about the restaurant scene in Litchfield County?
I&rsquom very happy about Joel Viehland&rsquos new restaurants and that a new restaurant is opening in his former place, Community Table.


10 Questions For Restaurateur Danny Meyer

RI-region readers will be pleased to know that they can call Danny Meyer, the consummate restaurateur, one of their own. For over 30 years he has operated some of the most successful restaurants in Manhattan, including Union Square Café, which he opened in 1985 Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, The Modern and the cafés at MOMA Jazz Standard, and Maialino. There are all (or have been) successful &mdash a testament to his expertise and his ability to find the right space, the right food, and the right staff. In addition to fine dining, Danny also started the super successful Shake Shack franchise. We met up Danny, who has a home in Washington, Conn., and discussed what makes it all work for him.

1. What path were you on before you got into the food business?
I went to Trinity College and majored in Political Science. I always loved the news and current events, and volunteered on several political campaigns as early as the age of ten. I worked in a professional capacity as a Cook County field coordinator for John Anderson&rsquos 1980 presidential campaign. I became increasingly interested in public policy. Because I didn&rsquot have any imagination I decided the only thing I could do is go and get a law degree, which happily I did not do.

2. What prompted the interest in food?
My dad taught me about gastronomy and my mother about hospitality. My passion for both things began at local restaurants in St. Louis. Because of my dad&rsquos travel business I got to spend time in Rome, which only added to my burgeoning love of food. When I was working as a tour guide and when I went to school in Rome studying international politics, I found that those two activities always played second fiddle to going out to restaurants. It didn&rsquot dawn on me then that I would have a career in creating culinary pleasures for other people.

3. You opened Union Square Café in 1985 on East 16th Street, which was not a great area at the time. Why there?
The mother of a college friend who was in the real estate business advised me to focus on the area around Union Square. Many companies, especially publishers, were moving there and they entertain a lot. The greenmarket was there, and most importantly, the rents were low.

4. How many restaurants does the Union Square Hospitality Group run now?
What is a restaurant and what&rsquos not? We have five different places to eat at CitiFields alone. We serve food at the Delacorte in Central Park. In terms, of full service, fine dining restaurants, I think it&rsquos fair to say there are ten full service restaurants in New York.

5. In your book Setting the Table, you write that service and hospitality are essential for a successful restaurant. Do you feel that they can overcome mediocre food?
Absolutely. If the food is mediocre I won&rsquot go back a third time. If hospitality and service are mediocre I won&rsquot go back a second time.

6. What&rsquos changed in the food industry since you started out?
I&rsquoll start by saying what hasn&rsquot changed: human beings like to be with other human beings and don&rsquot always like to shop and cook and do the dishes. Restaurants continue to be places where people can come together across the table. What has changed is the myriad ways you can eat food. Punch in your smartphone and have something delivered wherever you are. People&rsquos interest in food has only grown and technology has added new ways to provide it.

7. What advice would you give someone wanting to enter the food or hospitality industry?
Ask yourself these three questions: Am I obsessed with food and drink? Do I get a huge psychic payoff for sharing my passion with other people? Do I have an amazing work ethic and stamina? If the answers are affirmative, then you need to do it.

8. Who inspires you and what keeps you going?
My colleagues and our guests. They inspire me to keep reaching further and higher.

9. How much time do you get to spend in Litchfield County, and when you are here, what do you like to do?
We don&rsquot get here nearly enough. Out of 52 weekends, we get in 10 to 12. But when we&rsquore here, we cook a lot, especially outside in the summer. We have a wonderful vegetable garden and we run every day we are here. We hike at Steep Rock and the Appalachian Trail. I love to take in that gorgeous nature.

10. Do you have any thoughts about the restaurant scene in Litchfield County?
I&rsquom very happy about Joel Viehland&rsquos new restaurants and that a new restaurant is opening in his former place, Community Table.