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Adding to Museum Portfolio, Meyer Takes on the Whitney

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A small item in Flo Fab's Off the Menu this morning mentions that Danny Meyer, Burger king and mayor of Grammercy, is taking over the food program at The Whitney Museum on Madison and 75th. Given his success running the bar and dining rooms at the MoMA, he could have a burgeoning empire on his hands. It also means that with the opening of his Shake Shack up on Lex and 86th, Meyer will go from having zero to two restaurants on the Upper East Side in 2010.

Fabricant reports that Meyer will be taking over in two weeks, installing a temporary cafe menu until he can get in for some real renovations later this fall.

Update: The full press release is below. No big reveals here, but a nice send off for Sarabeth's

NEW YORK, January 6, 2010 – The Whitney Museum of American Art has selected Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) as the exclusive caterer for all Museum events, and to create and operate a new cafe at the Museum, slated to open in the fall of 2010.

USHG’s catering and events business, Hudson Yards, will become the exclusive caterer for all Whitney events and will also operate an interim “pop-up” cafe to serve Whitney visitors during the period that the dining space on the lower level of the Museum is being renovated. Hudson Yards has earned acclaim as an innovative culinary leader for its role in the menu creation and day-to-day operations of all USHG businesses at The New York Mets’ Citi Field, and also for Public Fare, its open-air cafe at the Public Theater at The Delacorte in Central Park.

The new cafe will succeed Sarabeth’s at the Whitney. Sarabeth’s, with several New York City locations, bakeries, and a nationally distributed line of award-winning preserves, will close its Whitney outpost on January 17, 2010. “We are deeply grateful to Sarabeth’s for feeding so many hungry art lovers and providing many years of outstanding service to the Whitney and its patrons,” said Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director.

“We were honored to have been selected in 1991 by the Whitney to be the first private restaurant operating in a New York City museum,” said Sarabeth’s co-founder, Sarabeth Levine. “Over the years, Sarabeth’s at the Whitney hosted millions of visitors and its outstanding food and service made it a destination in itself. As we are not equipped to provide large-scale catering, we fully understand and support the Whitney’s decision. We wish them the best of luck in this new endeavor.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Danny Meyer, one of the most respected restaurateurs in the world,” Mr. Weinberg remarked. “His Union Square Hospitality Group excels at both individual dining and event catering—both of critical importance to the Museum. The pairing of Union Square Hospitality Group and the Whitney will be a perfect fit for local residents and tourists alike. We look forward to a long-term partnership with Danny and his talented team.”

“As art lovers we are incredibly excited to partner with the Whitney to help establish the museum as a premier venue for catered events. And we consider it an enormous privilege to conceive the next generation cafe to serve the Whitney’s museum goers as well as their Upper East Side neighbors,” said Danny Meyer, CEO, Union Square Hospitality Group. “We’re eager to contribute one more reason for people to visit this institution of American art.”

· Off the Menu [NYT]

The Whitney

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