Mr. Meyer, who also runs Gramercy Tavern, the Modern and the forthcoming cafe in the National September 11 Memorial Museum, said Union Square Cafe would reopen, but not necessarily in or near Union Square.
In recent years, his Union Square Hospitality Group has focused expansion not on fine dining, but on its profitable Shake Shack burger chain: the 48th store opened Monday in Washington, D.C. In 2010, the company closed its high-end Indian restaurant Tabla; in 2011 it sold the prestigious Eleven Madison Park to its chef and general manager; and in 2012, the company sold a 39.5 percent stake to an investment bank, which helped fuel growth for Shake Shack, now serving in London, Dubai and Kuwait City.
Each of the group's restaurants is a separate company, Mr. Meyer said, meaning that revenue from Shake Shack cannot be repurposed to pay for ingredients or salaries at Union Square Cafe. "My people can't thrive if the individual restaurant doesn't work financially," he said.
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