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 Restaurant Wine-To-Go Here to Stay?

Nov 15, 2021

Do You Have Any Glass? Winemakers Face Global Supply Chain Woes

Nov 1, 2021

Table for Two? Next Question: Vaccinated?

Oct 31, 2021

José Andrés Discusses a Way Back for Restaurants at Impact Seminar

Oct 8, 2021

A Masked Man in Italy

Sep 30, 2021

News COVID-19 Straight Talk Dining Out Restaurant Awards

You Might Also Like

The Court of Master Sommeliers Is Expelling Six Members. Is It Enough to End a Culture Many Call Toxic?

The Court of Master Sommeliers Is Expelling Six Members. Is It Enough to End a Culture Many Call Toxic?

The move comes after months of investigation of sexual harassment and assault complaints

Dec 1, 2021
Provence Winemaking Iconoclast Eloi Dürrbach Dies at 71

Provence Winemaking Iconoclast Eloi Dürrbach Dies at 71

The founder of Domaine de Trévallon did things his way, making gorgeous red wines for …

Dec 1, 2021
Burgundy's Hospices de Beaune Charity Roars Back

Burgundy's Hospices de Beaune Charity Roars Back

With a new auctioneer, the historic event sold barrels of 2021 Burgundies to raise $15.3 …

Nov 29, 2021
SND: Treasury Wine Estates Buys Frank Family Vineyards, Expanding Napa Holdings

SND: Treasury Wine Estates Buys Frank Family Vineyards, Expanding Napa Holdings

The $315 million deal further shifts the Aussie wine giant into premium brands

Nov 18, 2021
Chef Christopher Kostow’s Charter Oak Comes to Cabo

Chef Christopher Kostow’s Charter Oak Comes to Cabo

The Napa restaurant will host a two-night dinner series with wine pairings at a Mexican …

Nov 18, 2021
Instagram Live Chats: View Wine Spectator's Upcoming Schedule

Instagram Live Chats: View Wine Spectator's Upcoming Schedule

Our next two episodes feature New York restaurateur Yannick Benjamin and Champagne …

Dec 1, 2021