Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Danny Meyer Closing Two NYC Restaurants in Hotel-Turned-Migrant Shelter



Two trendy Manhattan restaurants are closing their doors after the hotel in which they are located has been converted into housing for migrants.

Union Square Hospitality Group announced Friday that two of its restaurants, Marta, a pizzeria, and Maialino (vicino), a restaurant and wine bar, will both have their last service on Aug. 25.

"While we’re disappointed to share that Marta will be closing as of August 25th, we’re beyond grateful to our neighborhood regulars, visitors, and guests who have made this such a special 9 years," Marta wrote in the caption of its Instagram post on Sunday. "To our amazing team, past and present, THANK YOU. We’ll be seeing you again soon."

Maialino shared similar sentiments on its page, adding: "We’re enormously grateful to our community and loyal guests who have dined with us, enjoyed a glass of wine at the bar, and made this an experience unlike any other."

Both restaurants, owned by Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer, were located in the four-star Redbury hotel on East 29th Street, which closed to guests and began housing asylum seekers on August 4. It joins the more than 100 hotels in contract with the city to house some 90,000 migrants, many of whom were given bus tickets to New York by the governors of Texas and Florida, The Messenger previously reported.

At the time of writing, the hotel's website says "Maialino & Marta remain open for regular dining service and events." It does not indicate that they will close at the end of the month.

After learning of the hotel's conversion, Meyer's USHG initially stated that its restaurants' operations would remain unchanged, a company spokesperson confirmed to The Messenger.

The group provided an updated statement Friday, which confirmed both closures.

"As tenants of the Redbury, our two restaurants, which occupy the lobby floor, have been eagerly anticipating the hotel’s full post-pandemic reopening," the USHG statement sent to The Messenger read. "Now, as the Redbury partners with the City to house asylum seekers, it’s become clear that the timeline for that reopening has been extended indefinitely."

"While we admire and respect the Redbury’s decision, the viability of our business relies significantly on hotel-related [food and beverage] operations, including event venues and the lobby bar, spaces that are now unavailable for our use," the statement continued. "We remain fully supportive of the Redbury’s initiative and will continue advocating for policy change that expedites work permits for asylum seekers."

According to the statement, Meyer's group is "actively seeking" new locations where they can re-open the two eateries.

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