Over the past 27 years, we have created and operated several fine dining restaurants, a number of urban barbecue joints, a feel-good jazz club, a road-side hotdog stand that became one of New York’s favorite burger restaurants, a roman trattoria, four modern museum restaurants and cafes, an off-premise, restaurant-quality catering company, and even a learning and training company. We love new ideas and the thrill of a new challenge. But some things stay the same: we bring our commitment to consistent excellence and warm hospitality to every endeavor, plus the energy of a motivated and supported team.
1980s – THE BEGINNING
At age 27, Danny Meyer launched Union Square Cafe, pioneering a new breed of American eatery pairing imaginative food and wine with caring hospitality, comfortable surroundings, and outstanding value.
1990s – PROVING IT WAS NO FLUKE
Danny opened Gramercy Tavern, offering refined American cuisine and warm hospitality in a historic landmark building.
Union Square Cafe releases their first cookbook The Union Square Cafe Cookbook: 160 Favorite Recipes from New York’s Acclaimed Restaurant.
Danny welcomed guests to two more restaurants, Eleven Madison Park and Tabla, each situated in a stunning art deco building that overlooks Madison Square Park. With the opening of these restaurants, Danny also officially formed Union Square Hospitality Group.
2000s – GROWTH
Blue Smoke and Jazz Standard, offering mouthwatering real pit barbecue and world-class live jazz, served with warm hospitality in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
The first ever Big Apple Barbecue Block Party took place on 27th Street on a rainy Spring day. Despite the weather, thousands of barbecue enthusiasts showed up, beginning a beloved New York City tradition.
USHG launched Shake Shack, a food kiosk in Madison Square Park, serving Chicago-style hot dogs, burgers, frozen custard, and more.
Having been selected by the Museum of Modern Art to create and operate the dining facilities at the newly renovated museum, USHG opened three restaurants, including a fine dining restaurant, The Modern, two cafes, Cafe 2 and Terrace 5, catering, and the food service for MoMA’s staff.
USHG launched a fine dining, full-service catering and sports and entertainment business, Union Square Events (initially known as Hudson Yards Catering.)
Danny Meyer’s book Setting The Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business comes out.
Chef Floyd Cardoz releases One Spice, Two Spice: American Food, Indian Flavors Cookbook.
Shake Shack opened a second location on the Upper West Side (NYC)
Shake Shack, Blue Smoke, Box Frites, and El Verano Taquería opened at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets
Union Square Events opened Public Fare, a seasonal, open-air cafe located at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, home to The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park.
Mix Shake Stir Cookbook: Recipes from Danny Meyer’s Acclaimed New York City Restaurants is released.
USHG opened Maialino, a Roman-style trattoria in the Gramercy Park Hotel.
2010s – MOMENTUM
USHG launched Hospitality Quotient, a learning business focused on helping individuals and companies to understand and apply the power of hospitality in their businesses.
Shake Shack opened in Miami Beach, Florida.
Shake Shack opened in the Theater District (NYC).
Shake Shack opened at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York
Shake Shack opened on the Upper East Side (NYC).
After 12 fulfilling years, Tabla closed its doors and served its last meal at the Madison Square Park address.
USHG opened Untitled at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Untitled is a contemporary, farm-to-table take on the classic Manhattan coffee shop.
Shake Shack opened its first international location in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Shake Shack opened in Washington, DC.
Shake Shack opened in Battery Park City (NYC).
Shake Shack, Blue Smoke, Box Frites, and El Verano Taquería opened at Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals, in Washington, DC.
Shake Shack opened its second international location in Kuwait City, Kuwait.
Shake Shack opened in Westport, Connecticut.
In a bold move, after Eleven Madison Park received four stars from The New York Times, a Grand Award from Wine Spectator, and three stars from Michelin in 2011, USHG sold the restaurant to Executive Chef Daniel Humm and General Manager Will Guidara.
Shake Shack opened in Downtown Brooklyn (NYC)
Blue Smoke opened a second location in Battery Park City.
USHG opened North End Grill, an American bar and grill located in Battery Park City. North End Grill marks the exciting return of Chef Floyd Cardoz, fresh from his triumphant win on Season 3 of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters”, and in his first restaurant since Tabla.
Shake Shack opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Shake Shack opened in Coral Gables, Florida.
Box Frites and El Verano Taquería opened at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Shake Shack opened in New Haven, Connecticut.
Shake Shack opened in Kuwait City, Kuwait.
Shake Shack opened in Westbury, New York.
Shake Shack opened in Doha, Qatar.
Shake Shack opened in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Creative Juice USHG and Equinox introduce Creative Juice, a healthy cafe concept that offers flavorful, nutritious, and convenient eating and drinking choices. The cafe’s menu features a chef-inspired selection of delicious and functional premium cold-pressed juices combined with nutritious, on-the-go culinary offerings.
Family Table Cookbook: Favorite Staff Meals from our Restaurants to Your Home comes out.