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Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) recently opened a Shake Shack in Moscow right as Vladimir Putin was becoming a raging homophobe and starting the second Cold War. Then, they got into trouble when Mets baseball players blamed the Shake Shack burgers on giving them food poisoning (See the May 20th Daily Show for a complete segment on this).
Neither episode was handled too well by their PR teams. One might even use the phrase tone-deaf to describe it all.
Now, Mr. Meyer’s hearing loss seems to be getting worse. It was announced in the New York Times that his USHG will be doing business with the highly controversial Port Authority (ala Bridgegate and bad Super Bowl transportation), by opening a cafe in the 9/11 Memorial, and serving alcohol.
The article states, “The Pavilion Cafe- Union Square Events will open a small restaurant inside the National September 11 Memorial Museum this summer with about 80 seats and a subdued, seasonal, mostly vegetarian menu. “We knew that people would need a place to rest, to reflect and hopefully to be restored,” said Danny Meyer, chief executive of Union Square Hospitality Group, the parent company. The menu, developed with John Karangis, executive chef for Union Square Events, incorporates comfort foods like tomato soup, grilled cheese and brownies; ingredients from local farms; and appetizers designed to be shared, like ricotta with peas; salmon confit; and red lentil hummus. There will also be breakfast pastries, New York-made draft beers and American wines on tap.”.
What an experience visitors will have. They can go to the 9/11 Memorial gift shop and purchase doggy coats that look like NYFD uniforms worn by the hundreds of firefighters killed when the towers collapsed, then move right on over to Danny’s cafe and get tipsy drunk.
Nothing helps fuel strong emotions better than alcohol. What could go wrong?