After scoping out over 25 potential addresses, hospitality Jedi Danny Meyer has decided that Union Square Cafe's new home will be the City Crab space on the corner of Park Avenue South and 19th Street. Meyer signed a 15 year lease on the space, and he plans to find new jobs within his restaurant group for City Crab's 75 employees. The space is three times bigger than Union Square Cafe's current home on East 16th Street. Meyer and Co. will use the extra space for a few more tables, a private dining room, a waiting area, and a prep kitchen. Star designer David Rockwell is in charge of the revamp. The original space was designed by Larry Bogdanow, who passed away in 2011.
Union Square Cafe is moving because of an absurd rent hike that would force Meyer and his crew to make some major changes in order to turn a profit. City Crab will close in September, and Union Square will bid adieu in December. No word yet on when Union Square Cafe 2.0 will open, but all of its employees will have the option to work at other Meyer restaurants during the hiatus. A Japanese noodle chain called Tsurutontan will move into the 16th Street space once Union Square Cafe leaves.