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

An Award-Winning Mindset: Wine Spectator Chats with Restaurant Industry Stars

Jul 8, 2020

Health Talk: Wine Lovers, COVID-19 and Lost Sense of Smell

Jul 8, 2020

As Spain Reopens, Its Wineries Forge Ahead

Jul 6, 2020

Dry Skies Ahead

Jul 1, 2020

Sommelier Roundtable: Wine Service During Reopening⁠—What’s Changed

Jun 17, 2020

News COVID-19 Straight Talk Dining Out Restaurant Awards

You Might Also Like

An Award-Winning Mindset: Wine Spectator Chats with Restaurant Industry Stars

An Award-Winning Mindset: Wine Spectator Chats with Restaurant Industry Stars

Grand Award winners Charlie Palmer, Marcello Fiorentino and Aviram Turgeman discuss their …

Jul 8, 2020
Health Talk: Wine Lovers, COVID-19 and Lost Sense of Smell

Health Talk: Wine Lovers, COVID-19 and Lost Sense of Smell

When neurologist Michael Pourfar lost his sense of smell and taste because of the coronavir…

Jul 8, 2020
As Spain Reopens, Its Wineries Forge Ahead

As Spain Reopens, Its Wineries Forge Ahead

The pandemic hit the nation hard, and vintners know reopening will be slow. They're trying …

Jul 6, 2020
Charlie Palmer’s Aureole Pivots to To-Go, Plans Next New York Home

Charlie Palmer’s Aureole Pivots to To-Go, Plans Next New York Home

The landmark restaurant might return to the Upper East Side in 2021. Plus, the team behind …

Jul 2, 2020
French Wine Firm EPI Buys Majority Stake in Michael Mondavi's Folio

French Wine Firm EPI Buys Majority Stake in Michael Mondavi's Folio

The luxury goods firm, which owns Piper-Heidsieck, Charles Heidsieck and Biondi-Santi, …

Jul 1, 2020
From Napa to Burgundy: A Live Chat with Diana Snowden Seysses

From Napa to Burgundy: A Live Chat with Diana Snowden Seysses

The Snowden Vineyards and Domaine Dujac winemaker discusses her Napa roots, emmigrating to …

Jul 1, 2020