An agenda-filled Broadsheet article about Union Square’s new restaurants in BPC

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April 13, 2012 By Steven Greer

The local advertising paper, The Broadsheet, published an unusual interview with the CEO of The Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG), Mr. Danny Meyer. In the article, they heavily reference all of the reviews on Shake Shack and North End Grill from other newspapers, yet do not write their own review. Two of the reviews they dragged up were negative one-star reviews. The BatteryPark.TV review and videos were not mentioned.

In the opening sentence, the Broadsheet mentions the controversial Goldman Sachs corporation, now synonymous with “vampire squids”, and how Goldman Sachs was responsible for bring to BPC the three new USHG establishments. If this is a negative act by Goldman Sachs, then one can hope they do more of them. For decades, the Canadian bureacratic Brookfield Properties controlled the restaurants in the area; restaurants so bad that they were all evicted, and are supposedly being replaced by new ones, “Coming in 2013” (although no evidence of construction progress can be seen).

Next, the article brings up the highly critical one-star review in New York magazine. The reviewer in that piece was clearly out to smear North End Grill since it was seen as an elitist establishment meant for Goldman Sachs executives. Negative reviews get more attention than positive ones. Few people read New York magazine given the rise of Internet sites such as BatteryPark.TV, and apps such as Yelp, etc., and the review seems to have been an attention seeking move to gain readers.

The Broadsheet asked Mr. Meyer to comment also on the recent two-star review of North End Grill, and the one-star review of a new Brooklyn Shake Shack, both in The New York Times. What relevance a review of a Brooklyn Shake Shack has to the BPC restaurants is unclear, other than to be a “gotcha” question to put Mr. Meyer on the defensive.

The Broadsheet proceeded to bring up the other sensitive spot for Mr. Meyer, which is that his beloved Shack Shack has become a “chain”, implying that Shake Shacks have lost quality. Mr. Myer explained that there are only nine Shake Shacks, versus 700 Five Guys Burger and Fries. If the quality is lacking at Shack Shack, no one would know. All of them have long lines out the door. Moreover, it is a bit silly for The New York Times to review a burger joint with a predominantly 10-year-old clientele. A Times journalist, Peter Lattman, tweeted sarcastically, “@peterlattman Kids sharply disagreed with NYT on The Lorax. On heels of negative Shake Shack review, it seems we’re at risk of losing 7-to-10 demographic.”

Why might the publisher of The Broadsheet, Robert Simko, have an axe to grind with Danny Meyer’s USHG? We called Mr. Simko and he hung up on us twice and did not reply to our emails. However, Mr. Simko has been actively recruiting advertisers for his 2012 edition of the struggling Doorman’s Guide to Lower Manhattan, which has also been made obsolete by the BP.TV Directory of Businesses. BatteryPark.TV has learned that The USHG did not advertise with any of Mr. Simko’s publications.

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