Live from Lockdown with Danny Meyer
Shannon Sturgis Danny Meyer says he and his staff are trying to stay safe and stay connected during the pandemic.

Live from Lockdown with Danny Meyer

The restaurant owner shares the latest news from Union Square Hospitality Group on Wine Spectator's Instagram Live series, Straight Talk

May 19, 2020

What's life during lockdown like for one of the world's top restaurateurs? How is he serving his community? And how does he stay positive?

Straight Talk with Wine Spectator is a new Instagram series sponsored by Wine Access, featuring live conversations with wine-and-food newsmakers. The chats kicked off early last month amid widespread shutdowns from the COVID-19 crisis, in order to shed light on the changes and challenges these industries are facing.

In the May 14 edition, restaurateur Danny Meyer opened up to Wine Spectator executive editor Thomas Matthews about life in lockdown, the state of the industry, and what’s in the works at his New York–based Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG). “The thing that we’re the best at, which is gathering people, is the thing that we’re not supposed to do right now,” Meyer shared over a glass of Vocoret & Fils Chablis.

Meyer said the venue he’ll likely reopen first will be Daily Provisions, his fast-casual all-day café, which doesn’t depend on reservations or seated tables and already has a to-go model in place. “It’s also comfort food, which I think is what people want right now,” he said. Regarding USHG’s seated restaurants, such as Wine Spectator Grand Award winner the Modern, “It’s going to be a while before it’s safe enough to do that.”

“The three things we’ve been focused on have been, for now: Stay safe, stay home and stay in contact,” said Meyer, who’s been hosting weekly online video chats with his entire displaced team. Meyer also revealed that his group has been working on alternative ways to serve the community, like delivering wine or boxes of groceries from hurting suppliers, and he’s “very, very hopeful” that a program like that will kick off “in the coming weeks.”

Underscoring the whole conversation was his earnest sense of hope. “We are irrepressible in our desire to gather, and the minute that that’s safe to do it, we’re going to be there.”

Watch the full episode to hear more from Meyer, and tune in to Straight Talk on Wine Spectator’s Instagram page, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. ET.

More COVID-19

See More

Is it safe to have a glass of wine after receiving one of the new bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster shots?

Nov 9, 2022

Virtual Content, Real Wine: Take Two

Sep 30, 2022

New Study Suggests Red Wine Reduces COVID Infection Rates

Jan 25, 2022

Is it safe to drink wine after receiving my COVID-19 vaccine booster shot?

Dec 8, 2021

Is Restaurant Wine-To-Go Here to Stay?

Nov 15, 2021

News COVID-19 Straight Talk Dining Out Restaurant Awards

You Might Also Like

Wildfires Threaten Some of Chile's Oldest Vines

Wildfires Threaten Some of Chile's Oldest Vines

Dozens of fires burning in southern Chile raze farmland, threatening some of the nation's …

Feb 3, 2023
Giuseppe Benanti, Who Helped Spark Mount Etna’s Wine Renaissance, Dies at 78

Giuseppe Benanti, Who Helped Spark Mount Etna’s Wine Renaissance, Dies at 78

The founder of his family’s winery on the slopes of Sicily’s famed volcano believed in its …

Feb 3, 2023
Winery Owner Donald Hess Dies at 86

Winery Owner Donald Hess Dies at 86

The Swiss businessman and art collector built a wine corporation starting in Napa Valley …

Feb 1, 2023
Did the Pineapple Express End California’s Drought?

Did the Pineapple Express End California’s Drought?

Weeks of winter storms replenished reservoirs, but winemakers say it's too soon to know …

Jan 31, 2023
‘Straight Talk’ Podcast Episode 5: The Rhône, Port and Our Wine Value of the Year

‘Straight Talk’ Podcast Episode 5: The Rhône, Port and Our Wine Value of the Year

Tales from the road—from the Rhône, Portugal and Napa—including exclusive interviews with …

Jan 30, 2023
Turning Tables: MaMou Opens in New Orleans with Charlie Trotter’s Alum Heading the Wine Program

Turning Tables: MaMou Opens in New Orleans with Charlie Trotter’s Alum Heading the Wine Program

Plus, the Capital Grille arrives in Kentucky with a February launch in Louisville

Jan 26, 2023