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Going Market to Table in New York City With Society Cafe

Going Market to Table in New York City With Society Cafe


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The restaurant was inspired by the 1930s jazz club Café Society

The restaurant boasts a welcoming ambience along with exquisite food.

Market to table is alive and well, even in the concrete jungle of New York City. One restaurant in particular, Society Cafe, is one of the standout eateries taking the good food movement to heart, supporting local farms and sourcing produce a short walk away from its kitchen.

Society Cafe is a hidden gem located in the Walker Hotel in Greenwich Village. After walking through the hotel lobby and down an arched hallway, you’ll find yourself in an elevated but cozy 75-seat dining room, decorated with teal banquettes and a gold-painted ceiling. In the center of it all is a skylight above a line of two-seat tables.

Along with the welcoming décor comes an equally endearing menu crafted by Society Cafe’s executive chef, Christopher Zabita, who hails from award-winning restaurants Victoria and Albert's and Bar Boulud. Zabita personally makes the trip to Union Square Greenmarket multiple times a week, connecting with purveyors and sourcing the best of the best ingredients for every dish.

To get an inside look at Society Cafe’s market to table process, The Daily Meal joined Zabita on a trip to the farmers market. While at the market, Zabita picked up fresh Cherry Lane Farms strawberries, apple mint, and Oak Grove Plantation blue popcorn, along with other produce to create his seasonal, sustainable, and locally sourced meals.

You can visit Society Cafe at 52 West 13th St. for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant also hosts happy hour specials from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Danny Meyer’s recipe for success

Danny Meyer at Union Square Cafe. Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

A version of this article appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue of strategy+business.

In December 2014, a year shy of its 30th anniversary and as popular as ever, New York City&rsquos Union Square Cafe faced a crippling rent increase. The soaring rents around Union Square Park, and the steady revival of the neighborhood over three decades, are in no small part due to the beloved upscale modern bistro Danny Meyer opened at 16th and Broadway in 1985.

After months of consideration, Sam Lipp, the restaurant&rsquos general manager, made the case for simply closing the restaurant. &ldquoLet&rsquos go out with a bang, on top and on our terms,&rdquo he suggested to Meyer. &ldquoIcon restaurants rarely prosper after moving.&rdquo Within 10 seconds, Meyer shot him down. &ldquoNo, Sam, you&rsquore wrong. It&rsquos our heart, our soul, our mother yeast. Let&rsquos move.&rdquo Regardless of the economic logic, and the fact that Meyer operated a dozen-odd other thriving restaurants, closing Union Square Cafe (USC) altogether was unthinkable. He told the team to find a more affordable space in the neighborhood, which they did, reopening a few blocks north, at 19th and Park Avenue South, in late 2016.

Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

Putting soul into all his business decisions &mdash many of which have been similarly counterintuitive &mdash has been Meyer&rsquos modus operandi since he started his first restaurant at the age of 27. &ldquoI&rsquove often wondered whether we have made much more money by choosing the right things to say no to,&rdquo he noted in his best-selling management memoir, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business.

In growing Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) into an internationally admired restaurant business, Meyer, along with the people who helped him build the company, has relied as much on his management prowess as on culinary creativity to stand out from the intense competition. As founder and CEO, Meyer has made his concept of &ldquoenlightened hospitality&rdquo the animating factor of the operating model, and has spurred the rise of an artisanal, soulful, and convivial restaurant empire.


Danny Meyer’s recipe for success

Danny Meyer at Union Square Cafe. Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

A version of this article appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue of strategy+business.

In December 2014, a year shy of its 30th anniversary and as popular as ever, New York City&rsquos Union Square Cafe faced a crippling rent increase. The soaring rents around Union Square Park, and the steady revival of the neighborhood over three decades, are in no small part due to the beloved upscale modern bistro Danny Meyer opened at 16th and Broadway in 1985.

After months of consideration, Sam Lipp, the restaurant&rsquos general manager, made the case for simply closing the restaurant. &ldquoLet&rsquos go out with a bang, on top and on our terms,&rdquo he suggested to Meyer. &ldquoIcon restaurants rarely prosper after moving.&rdquo Within 10 seconds, Meyer shot him down. &ldquoNo, Sam, you&rsquore wrong. It&rsquos our heart, our soul, our mother yeast. Let&rsquos move.&rdquo Regardless of the economic logic, and the fact that Meyer operated a dozen-odd other thriving restaurants, closing Union Square Cafe (USC) altogether was unthinkable. He told the team to find a more affordable space in the neighborhood, which they did, reopening a few blocks north, at 19th and Park Avenue South, in late 2016.

Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

Putting soul into all his business decisions &mdash many of which have been similarly counterintuitive &mdash has been Meyer&rsquos modus operandi since he started his first restaurant at the age of 27. &ldquoI&rsquove often wondered whether we have made much more money by choosing the right things to say no to,&rdquo he noted in his best-selling management memoir, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business.

In growing Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) into an internationally admired restaurant business, Meyer, along with the people who helped him build the company, has relied as much on his management prowess as on culinary creativity to stand out from the intense competition. As founder and CEO, Meyer has made his concept of &ldquoenlightened hospitality&rdquo the animating factor of the operating model, and has spurred the rise of an artisanal, soulful, and convivial restaurant empire.


Danny Meyer’s recipe for success

Danny Meyer at Union Square Cafe. Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

A version of this article appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue of strategy+business.

In December 2014, a year shy of its 30th anniversary and as popular as ever, New York City&rsquos Union Square Cafe faced a crippling rent increase. The soaring rents around Union Square Park, and the steady revival of the neighborhood over three decades, are in no small part due to the beloved upscale modern bistro Danny Meyer opened at 16th and Broadway in 1985.

After months of consideration, Sam Lipp, the restaurant&rsquos general manager, made the case for simply closing the restaurant. &ldquoLet&rsquos go out with a bang, on top and on our terms,&rdquo he suggested to Meyer. &ldquoIcon restaurants rarely prosper after moving.&rdquo Within 10 seconds, Meyer shot him down. &ldquoNo, Sam, you&rsquore wrong. It&rsquos our heart, our soul, our mother yeast. Let&rsquos move.&rdquo Regardless of the economic logic, and the fact that Meyer operated a dozen-odd other thriving restaurants, closing Union Square Cafe (USC) altogether was unthinkable. He told the team to find a more affordable space in the neighborhood, which they did, reopening a few blocks north, at 19th and Park Avenue South, in late 2016.

Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

Putting soul into all his business decisions &mdash many of which have been similarly counterintuitive &mdash has been Meyer&rsquos modus operandi since he started his first restaurant at the age of 27. &ldquoI&rsquove often wondered whether we have made much more money by choosing the right things to say no to,&rdquo he noted in his best-selling management memoir, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business.

In growing Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) into an internationally admired restaurant business, Meyer, along with the people who helped him build the company, has relied as much on his management prowess as on culinary creativity to stand out from the intense competition. As founder and CEO, Meyer has made his concept of &ldquoenlightened hospitality&rdquo the animating factor of the operating model, and has spurred the rise of an artisanal, soulful, and convivial restaurant empire.


Danny Meyer’s recipe for success

Danny Meyer at Union Square Cafe. Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

A version of this article appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue of strategy+business.

In December 2014, a year shy of its 30th anniversary and as popular as ever, New York City&rsquos Union Square Cafe faced a crippling rent increase. The soaring rents around Union Square Park, and the steady revival of the neighborhood over three decades, are in no small part due to the beloved upscale modern bistro Danny Meyer opened at 16th and Broadway in 1985.

After months of consideration, Sam Lipp, the restaurant&rsquos general manager, made the case for simply closing the restaurant. &ldquoLet&rsquos go out with a bang, on top and on our terms,&rdquo he suggested to Meyer. &ldquoIcon restaurants rarely prosper after moving.&rdquo Within 10 seconds, Meyer shot him down. &ldquoNo, Sam, you&rsquore wrong. It&rsquos our heart, our soul, our mother yeast. Let&rsquos move.&rdquo Regardless of the economic logic, and the fact that Meyer operated a dozen-odd other thriving restaurants, closing Union Square Cafe (USC) altogether was unthinkable. He told the team to find a more affordable space in the neighborhood, which they did, reopening a few blocks north, at 19th and Park Avenue South, in late 2016.

Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

Putting soul into all his business decisions &mdash many of which have been similarly counterintuitive &mdash has been Meyer&rsquos modus operandi since he started his first restaurant at the age of 27. &ldquoI&rsquove often wondered whether we have made much more money by choosing the right things to say no to,&rdquo he noted in his best-selling management memoir, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business.

In growing Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) into an internationally admired restaurant business, Meyer, along with the people who helped him build the company, has relied as much on his management prowess as on culinary creativity to stand out from the intense competition. As founder and CEO, Meyer has made his concept of &ldquoenlightened hospitality&rdquo the animating factor of the operating model, and has spurred the rise of an artisanal, soulful, and convivial restaurant empire.


Danny Meyer’s recipe for success

Danny Meyer at Union Square Cafe. Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

A version of this article appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue of strategy+business.

In December 2014, a year shy of its 30th anniversary and as popular as ever, New York City&rsquos Union Square Cafe faced a crippling rent increase. The soaring rents around Union Square Park, and the steady revival of the neighborhood over three decades, are in no small part due to the beloved upscale modern bistro Danny Meyer opened at 16th and Broadway in 1985.

After months of consideration, Sam Lipp, the restaurant&rsquos general manager, made the case for simply closing the restaurant. &ldquoLet&rsquos go out with a bang, on top and on our terms,&rdquo he suggested to Meyer. &ldquoIcon restaurants rarely prosper after moving.&rdquo Within 10 seconds, Meyer shot him down. &ldquoNo, Sam, you&rsquore wrong. It&rsquos our heart, our soul, our mother yeast. Let&rsquos move.&rdquo Regardless of the economic logic, and the fact that Meyer operated a dozen-odd other thriving restaurants, closing Union Square Cafe (USC) altogether was unthinkable. He told the team to find a more affordable space in the neighborhood, which they did, reopening a few blocks north, at 19th and Park Avenue South, in late 2016.

Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

Putting soul into all his business decisions &mdash many of which have been similarly counterintuitive &mdash has been Meyer&rsquos modus operandi since he started his first restaurant at the age of 27. &ldquoI&rsquove often wondered whether we have made much more money by choosing the right things to say no to,&rdquo he noted in his best-selling management memoir, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business.

In growing Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) into an internationally admired restaurant business, Meyer, along with the people who helped him build the company, has relied as much on his management prowess as on culinary creativity to stand out from the intense competition. As founder and CEO, Meyer has made his concept of &ldquoenlightened hospitality&rdquo the animating factor of the operating model, and has spurred the rise of an artisanal, soulful, and convivial restaurant empire.


Danny Meyer’s recipe for success

Danny Meyer at Union Square Cafe. Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

A version of this article appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue of strategy+business.

In December 2014, a year shy of its 30th anniversary and as popular as ever, New York City&rsquos Union Square Cafe faced a crippling rent increase. The soaring rents around Union Square Park, and the steady revival of the neighborhood over three decades, are in no small part due to the beloved upscale modern bistro Danny Meyer opened at 16th and Broadway in 1985.

After months of consideration, Sam Lipp, the restaurant&rsquos general manager, made the case for simply closing the restaurant. &ldquoLet&rsquos go out with a bang, on top and on our terms,&rdquo he suggested to Meyer. &ldquoIcon restaurants rarely prosper after moving.&rdquo Within 10 seconds, Meyer shot him down. &ldquoNo, Sam, you&rsquore wrong. It&rsquos our heart, our soul, our mother yeast. Let&rsquos move.&rdquo Regardless of the economic logic, and the fact that Meyer operated a dozen-odd other thriving restaurants, closing Union Square Cafe (USC) altogether was unthinkable. He told the team to find a more affordable space in the neighborhood, which they did, reopening a few blocks north, at 19th and Park Avenue South, in late 2016.

Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

Putting soul into all his business decisions &mdash many of which have been similarly counterintuitive &mdash has been Meyer&rsquos modus operandi since he started his first restaurant at the age of 27. &ldquoI&rsquove often wondered whether we have made much more money by choosing the right things to say no to,&rdquo he noted in his best-selling management memoir, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business.

In growing Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) into an internationally admired restaurant business, Meyer, along with the people who helped him build the company, has relied as much on his management prowess as on culinary creativity to stand out from the intense competition. As founder and CEO, Meyer has made his concept of &ldquoenlightened hospitality&rdquo the animating factor of the operating model, and has spurred the rise of an artisanal, soulful, and convivial restaurant empire.


Danny Meyer’s recipe for success

Danny Meyer at Union Square Cafe. Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

A version of this article appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue of strategy+business.

In December 2014, a year shy of its 30th anniversary and as popular as ever, New York City&rsquos Union Square Cafe faced a crippling rent increase. The soaring rents around Union Square Park, and the steady revival of the neighborhood over three decades, are in no small part due to the beloved upscale modern bistro Danny Meyer opened at 16th and Broadway in 1985.

After months of consideration, Sam Lipp, the restaurant&rsquos general manager, made the case for simply closing the restaurant. &ldquoLet&rsquos go out with a bang, on top and on our terms,&rdquo he suggested to Meyer. &ldquoIcon restaurants rarely prosper after moving.&rdquo Within 10 seconds, Meyer shot him down. &ldquoNo, Sam, you&rsquore wrong. It&rsquos our heart, our soul, our mother yeast. Let&rsquos move.&rdquo Regardless of the economic logic, and the fact that Meyer operated a dozen-odd other thriving restaurants, closing Union Square Cafe (USC) altogether was unthinkable. He told the team to find a more affordable space in the neighborhood, which they did, reopening a few blocks north, at 19th and Park Avenue South, in late 2016.

Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

Putting soul into all his business decisions &mdash many of which have been similarly counterintuitive &mdash has been Meyer&rsquos modus operandi since he started his first restaurant at the age of 27. &ldquoI&rsquove often wondered whether we have made much more money by choosing the right things to say no to,&rdquo he noted in his best-selling management memoir, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business.

In growing Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) into an internationally admired restaurant business, Meyer, along with the people who helped him build the company, has relied as much on his management prowess as on culinary creativity to stand out from the intense competition. As founder and CEO, Meyer has made his concept of &ldquoenlightened hospitality&rdquo the animating factor of the operating model, and has spurred the rise of an artisanal, soulful, and convivial restaurant empire.


Danny Meyer’s recipe for success

Danny Meyer at Union Square Cafe. Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

A version of this article appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue of strategy+business.

In December 2014, a year shy of its 30th anniversary and as popular as ever, New York City&rsquos Union Square Cafe faced a crippling rent increase. The soaring rents around Union Square Park, and the steady revival of the neighborhood over three decades, are in no small part due to the beloved upscale modern bistro Danny Meyer opened at 16th and Broadway in 1985.

After months of consideration, Sam Lipp, the restaurant&rsquos general manager, made the case for simply closing the restaurant. &ldquoLet&rsquos go out with a bang, on top and on our terms,&rdquo he suggested to Meyer. &ldquoIcon restaurants rarely prosper after moving.&rdquo Within 10 seconds, Meyer shot him down. &ldquoNo, Sam, you&rsquore wrong. It&rsquos our heart, our soul, our mother yeast. Let&rsquos move.&rdquo Regardless of the economic logic, and the fact that Meyer operated a dozen-odd other thriving restaurants, closing Union Square Cafe (USC) altogether was unthinkable. He told the team to find a more affordable space in the neighborhood, which they did, reopening a few blocks north, at 19th and Park Avenue South, in late 2016.

Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

Putting soul into all his business decisions &mdash many of which have been similarly counterintuitive &mdash has been Meyer&rsquos modus operandi since he started his first restaurant at the age of 27. &ldquoI&rsquove often wondered whether we have made much more money by choosing the right things to say no to,&rdquo he noted in his best-selling management memoir, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business.

In growing Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) into an internationally admired restaurant business, Meyer, along with the people who helped him build the company, has relied as much on his management prowess as on culinary creativity to stand out from the intense competition. As founder and CEO, Meyer has made his concept of &ldquoenlightened hospitality&rdquo the animating factor of the operating model, and has spurred the rise of an artisanal, soulful, and convivial restaurant empire.


Danny Meyer’s recipe for success

Danny Meyer at Union Square Cafe. Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

A version of this article appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue of strategy+business.

In December 2014, a year shy of its 30th anniversary and as popular as ever, New York City&rsquos Union Square Cafe faced a crippling rent increase. The soaring rents around Union Square Park, and the steady revival of the neighborhood over three decades, are in no small part due to the beloved upscale modern bistro Danny Meyer opened at 16th and Broadway in 1985.

After months of consideration, Sam Lipp, the restaurant&rsquos general manager, made the case for simply closing the restaurant. &ldquoLet&rsquos go out with a bang, on top and on our terms,&rdquo he suggested to Meyer. &ldquoIcon restaurants rarely prosper after moving.&rdquo Within 10 seconds, Meyer shot him down. &ldquoNo, Sam, you&rsquore wrong. It&rsquos our heart, our soul, our mother yeast. Let&rsquos move.&rdquo Regardless of the economic logic, and the fact that Meyer operated a dozen-odd other thriving restaurants, closing Union Square Cafe (USC) altogether was unthinkable. He told the team to find a more affordable space in the neighborhood, which they did, reopening a few blocks north, at 19th and Park Avenue South, in late 2016.

Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

Putting soul into all his business decisions &mdash many of which have been similarly counterintuitive &mdash has been Meyer&rsquos modus operandi since he started his first restaurant at the age of 27. &ldquoI&rsquove often wondered whether we have made much more money by choosing the right things to say no to,&rdquo he noted in his best-selling management memoir, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business.

In growing Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) into an internationally admired restaurant business, Meyer, along with the people who helped him build the company, has relied as much on his management prowess as on culinary creativity to stand out from the intense competition. As founder and CEO, Meyer has made his concept of &ldquoenlightened hospitality&rdquo the animating factor of the operating model, and has spurred the rise of an artisanal, soulful, and convivial restaurant empire.


Danny Meyer’s recipe for success

Danny Meyer at Union Square Cafe. Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

A version of this article appeared in the Autumn 2018 issue of strategy+business.

In December 2014, a year shy of its 30th anniversary and as popular as ever, New York City&rsquos Union Square Cafe faced a crippling rent increase. The soaring rents around Union Square Park, and the steady revival of the neighborhood over three decades, are in no small part due to the beloved upscale modern bistro Danny Meyer opened at 16th and Broadway in 1985.

After months of consideration, Sam Lipp, the restaurant&rsquos general manager, made the case for simply closing the restaurant. &ldquoLet&rsquos go out with a bang, on top and on our terms,&rdquo he suggested to Meyer. &ldquoIcon restaurants rarely prosper after moving.&rdquo Within 10 seconds, Meyer shot him down. &ldquoNo, Sam, you&rsquore wrong. It&rsquos our heart, our soul, our mother yeast. Let&rsquos move.&rdquo Regardless of the economic logic, and the fact that Meyer operated a dozen-odd other thriving restaurants, closing Union Square Cafe (USC) altogether was unthinkable. He told the team to find a more affordable space in the neighborhood, which they did, reopening a few blocks north, at 19th and Park Avenue South, in late 2016.

Photograph by Caitlin Ochs

Putting soul into all his business decisions &mdash many of which have been similarly counterintuitive &mdash has been Meyer&rsquos modus operandi since he started his first restaurant at the age of 27. &ldquoI&rsquove often wondered whether we have made much more money by choosing the right things to say no to,&rdquo he noted in his best-selling management memoir, Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business.

In growing Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) into an internationally admired restaurant business, Meyer, along with the people who helped him build the company, has relied as much on his management prowess as on culinary creativity to stand out from the intense competition. As founder and CEO, Meyer has made his concept of &ldquoenlightened hospitality&rdquo the animating factor of the operating model, and has spurred the rise of an artisanal, soulful, and convivial restaurant empire.


Watch the video: Cafe Society Multiplex Trailer (July 2022).


Comments:

  1. Jens

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  2. Mazur

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