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What Inspires Me...

"I’m constantly inspired by travel. The opportunity to learn how people from other cultures live, eat, relate to one other, and express themselves fuels my imagination unimaginably."

Danny Meyer

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

 

Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Danny grew up in a family that relished great food, cooking, get-togethers, travel and hospitality. Thanks to his father’s travel business, he spent much of his childhood eating, visiting near and far-off places, and sowing the seeds for his future passion for food, wine, and a successful career in the hospitality industry.

 
In 1985, at age 27, Danny launched Union Square Cafe, pioneering a new breed of American eatery pairing imaginative food and wine with caring hospitality, comfortable surroundings and outstanding value. In 1994, Danny opened Gramercy Tavern, offering refined American cuisine in a historic landmark building.
 
In late 1998, Danny welcomed guests to yet two more restaurants, Eleven Madison Park and Tabla. After 12 fulfilling years, Tabla closed its doors in December of 2010 and Eleven Madison Park was sold to its Chef and General Manager in 2011.
 
In spring 2002, USHG opened Blue Smoke and Jazz Standard, offering mouthwatering real pit barbecue and world-class live jazz. In the summer of 2004, USHG launched Shake Shack, a modern-day roadside burger stand. Since then, new Shake Shack locations have opened across the east coast and internationally.
 
In December 2005, USHG launched a full-service catering and venue hospitality business, Union Square Events (formerly Hudson Yards). In November 2009, USHG opened Maialino, a Roman-style trattoria in the Gramercy Park Hotel. The following February, USHG launched Hospitality Quotient, a learning and consulting business. In March of 2011, the company opened Untitled, a farm-to-table coffee shop at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In January of 2012, USHG opened North End Grill, an American bar and grill located in Battery Park City featuring Chef Floyd Cardoz, formerly of Tabla and fresh from his triumphant win on Season 3 of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters.
 
Danny’s first business book, Setting the Table (HarperCollins, 2006), a New York Times bestseller, examines the power of hospitality in restaurants, business and life. An active national leader in the fight against hunger, Danny has long served on the boards of Share Our Strength and City Harvest.  He is equally active in civic affairs, serving on the executive committees of NYC & Co, Union Square Partnership, and the Madison Square Park Conservancy.
 
He lives in New York City with his wife, Audrey, and their four children.