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NYC’s Established Power Players on What’s Next in NYC Dining

Restaurateurs and chefs including David Chang, Stephen Starr, Keith McNally, and Andrew Tarlow discuss their legacy, the future of dining, and advice for younger operators

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The roots of New York’s restaurants run deep — in some cases, they go back centuries. But the dining scene as we know it now was born in 2004.

It was the year that French fine dining gave up the ghost: Places like La Caravelle made way for a new zeitgeist, a far more casual one where louder flavors reigned. People like April Bloomfield, who brought Michelin-worthy sensibilities to pub fare at the Spotted Pig, and David Chang, who got New Yorkers hooked on bold, cross-cultural flavors in stripped-down rooms at Momofuku, ushered in the era. Danny Meyer, who had built a culture of personable service and greenmarket dining in the 1980s and ’90s, opened Shake Shack. The thoughtful burger joint launched a million “elevated” “quick-service” “concepts.” The new high-end, meanwhile, was redefined by the Time Warner Center, where Masa Takayama’s eponymous sushi bar and Thomas Keller’s Per Se would raise the limit on how much New Yorkers would spend on food.

The pre-crash aughts also saw the rise of modern cocktail culture, fueled by PDT’s Jim Meehan, Clover Club’s Julie Reiner, and Milk & Honey’s Sasha Petraske, who led a movement that prompted even middle-of-the-road restaurants to hire professional bartenders. High standards for simple yet ambitious cooking at cozy neighborhood restaurants in part grew out of Gabriel Stulman’s West Village spots, Andrew Tarlow’s Williamsburg venues, and the Franks’ fiefdom of unpretentious Italian go-tos. As the recession years and a desire for classic comfort faded into the background, chefs started experimenting again: At Estela, Ignacio Mattos stunned diners with visually striking small plates, hiding proteins under canopies of foliage. Danny Bowien, in turn, attracted a citywide following for his freewheeling take on Chinese fare at Mission Chinese, while Carlo Mirarchi grew a quirky pizza empire called Roberta’s out of a garage in Bushwick.

There was also the ascent of food television to bona fide national pastime, from the Food Network to Top Chef. It solidified restaurant personalities’ growing status as a new kind of counter-cultural celebrity, a reality that would, at its worst, exacerbate a longstanding culture of excess and harassment until the MeToo movement came to a head in the late teens.

New York is a town of empire builders, but when one thinks about the dining and drinking scene today, these are the restaurateurs whose influence and accomplishments are always front of mind. Once the vanguard, they’re now the establishment. For Eater New York’s special issue, several of these players discussed what it means to find themselves in the seats of power. Their condensed answers to Eater’s questions are presented below.


Andrew Tarlow leans over a bar at Diner, with green glass bottles in the foreground.
Andrew Tarlow at Diner in 2013, when the restaurant had been open for 15 years
Daniel Krieger/Eater

Andrew Tarlow,
Marlow Collective

What do you want your legacy to be?

I think our legacy is already taking shape through the community that has grown out of these businesses. So many people who have spent time teaching, learning, and growing with us have branched out to create the next generation of hospitality — Caroline Fidanza of Saltie, who is now back with us as our Culinary Director; Sarah [Sanneh] and Carolyn [Bane] of Pies ‘n’ Thighs; Nick [Perkins] and Leah [Campbell] of Hart’s and Cervo’s; the Meat Hook; and Drifters Wife in Maine; and Mike [Fadem] and Marie [Tribouilloy] just celebrated three years at Ops in Bushwick, the list goes on.

My oldest son Elijah, who really grew up in Diner, is now working on the line in the kitchen there, so things are coming full circle in that respect, too.

Who do you think is shaping the next decade of dining in New York?

I’m really inspired by the work that organizations like Drive Change (a paid culinary fellowship program for formerly incarcerated youth) are doing to provide learning and development opportunities to people who might not have otherwise considered a profession in this industry.

What does the next decade look like for you?

The next decade is still really open. I want to continue to grow organically and find projects that really resonate with my team. My focus will also continue to be on deepening the connections along the path from our guests to our farmers, the ingredients, and the soil.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a NYC restaurateur who’s less established than you?

Don’t forget why you chose to do this work. Define your own version of success, and then take time to reflect on what’s worked and what hasn’t.


A young David Chang wears a white apron and chef’s white in front.
David Chang in 2009, at a best new chefs event for Food & Wine magazine
Chance Yeh/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

David Chang,
Momofuku Group

What do you want your legacy to be?

Using the vehicle of food to show people that we’re all more alike than different.

Who do you think is shaping the next decade of dining in New York?

A lot of it will be defined by real estate. It’s going to go up and down and look a lot like metropolitan cities in Asia. You’ll find restaurants pop up where you never thought they would be. The next decade is [also] defined by the environment, the pressing issue of our time. Lastly, it will be driven by rising costs.

What does the next decade look like for you?

No idea. I’m taking things a year at a time.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a NYC restaurateur who’s less established than you?

Don’t do it like everyone else. Don’t become a statistic.


Audrey Saunders, with blonde hair and black-rimmed glasses, holds a Champagne flute in front of a Bon Appetit sign.
Audrey Saunders in 2007
Brian Ach/WireImage

Audrey Saunders,
Pegu Club

What do you want your legacy to be?

Being Dale DeGroff’s protégé came with a high degree of visibility, and I wanted to use my advantage for good. My vision was to radically transform how America drinks.

I studied my ass off, mastered my trade, and began my swim upstream. As a mentor, I’m proud to say that I’ve trained an entire generation of some of the very best bartenders in New York. I taught them how to properly utilize then-obscure ingredients such as gin, rye, vermouth, [and] amari. I shunned soda guns and instead utilized bottled sodas and fresh produce. I also provided them with good ice (first Kold-Draft machine in NY since 1982), fresh-squeezed juice, artisanal cherries, proper tools, and appropriate, thoughtful glassware. The word began to spread to other bartenders and bars, and the use of these ingredients proliferated across the country. To this end, not only did the craft cocktail industry boom, but an entire craft distilling industry has also seeded, grown, and flourished as well.

This is also my 16th year as the beverage director for the Citymeals on Wheels Chefs’ Tribute to James Beard event. The very first job I ever had was helping out at a local senior center, so this position is personal for me. I created the beverage component for them and have raised over $600,000 for them at this point.

Who do you think is shaping the next decade of dining in New York?

I think NYC landlords will play a large role here. I believe that the combination of escalating rents and minimum wage increases will dictate what establishments will look like, size-wise, and ultimately, dictate their longevity as well.

What does the next decade look like for you?

My parents have always been my closest friends and their welfare has always been a priority for me. I had begun working on a small mixology school with my husband Robert Hess back in 2015, but soon thereafter had to put it on the back burner when my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. I lost her just a year ago, and only just lost my dad a few weeks ago, and I miss them terribly. Right now, I am taking some personal time to heal myself, reset, and reflect on both the past and future. After that, writing my mixology book and rebooting the school will be the next step because they wouldn’t have it any other way.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a NYC restaurateur who’s less established than you?

Hire good, kind, thoughtful people who truly enjoy giving of themselves. You can teach anyone proper procedure, steps of service, and standards, but you can’t teach them to be warm or kind. It’s a quality that comes from within, and the one that speaks to everyone. Folks go out not just for a good drink or great meal; equally important is that they are also going out for the experience. Caring, thoughtful service is the very stuff that the best memories are made of, and wildly more important than any hand-crafted ice cube could ever be.


Bon Yagi has his arms up, with his baby son sitting on his shoulders.
Bon Yagi with his young son his shoulders.
Bon Yagi [Official]

Bon Yagi,
T.I.C. Restaurant Group

What do you want your legacy to be?

I look forward to seeing my life’s work continued by my children and my employees past, present, and future. I believe that food is central to people’s lives and that experiencing world cultures through cuisine brings joy to people and enriches life. This is what I work to bring to the Japanese food scene in New York, and I hope to inspire all who work with me to carry on my vision by continuing to cultivate Japanese culture and cuisine for people around the world to enjoy.

Who do you think is shaping the next decade of dining in New York?

New Yorkers and patrons of the restaurants in New York will continue being the most influential force in shaping the next decade of dining. New York has always played a central role in popularizing new cuisines, and will continue to be a destination city to enjoy food that is familiar or pushes the envelope. It’s also up to New Yorkers to keep encouraging up-and-coming restaurateurs as well as supporting ‘mom-and-pop’ neighborhood favorites. How? By choosing to dine out and to explore. It’s a great city for that.

What does the next decade look like for you?

Japanese cuisine has an enormous variety of cooking styles and flavors to offer that are not yet well-known, and I hope to continue being a leader in introducing new flavors of Japan to New York.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a NYC restaurateur who’s less established than you?

As a budding restaurateur, you need a lot of patience. Find out what people need, what’s missing in the food scene, and don’t give up even though it’s hard. It helps to be inspired by others, but as you grow, remember to create your own style. Always try to improve on what came before and bring something new to the table.


Keith McNally in 2016, wearing a black sweater with a white collar
Keith McNally in 2016
Nick Solares/Eater

Keith McNally,
Balthazar Restaurateur

What do you want your legacy to be?

Anyone conceited enough to even think of such a self-aggrandizing word as ‘legacy’ in terms of himself doesn’t deserve to be in the restaurant business in the first place. If I’m remembered at all, I’d like it to be for treating my staff well.

Who do you think is shaping the next decade of dining in New York?

I tend to think about what is shaping trends in dining, not who. I think there’ll be less and less meat on menus. And as a result of astronomical rents for ground floor spaces, I see a major increase of restaurants on second floors.

What does the next decade look like for you?

Over the next 10 years I’d like to make life better for my staff and try to emphasize the quality of food and service at the restaurants I already have, instead of fantasizing about future projects.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a NYC restaurateur who’s less established than you?

Never take advice from someone who tells you they know what they’re doing.


Chef Michael White, standing in a kitchen in a white chef’s outfit, has one hand on his waist and another resting on a shelf.
Chef Michael White in 2015
Daniel Krieger/Eater

Michael White and
Ahmass Fakahany,
Altamarea Group

What do you want your legacy to be?

First and foremost, to have created a company where employees feel they can build a career and unravel their potential, and where clients have a long-standing and special connection to our brands. And next, maybe to have a small spot in the wonderful journey and legacy of Italian cuisine in America.

Who do you think is shaping the next decade of dining in New York?

Today all senses need to be stimulated concurrently and holistically: taste in great food is one factor, but more customized service, visual appeal, soundtrack of the venue, a lighting program for the evening, and so forth. Second, with the advent of technology and smartphones, the client can instantly record and share that experience. We have to listen very carefully to our clients and all feedback mechanisms more than ever. New technology tools will continue to evolve in delivery portals, reservations, and client information data as seen with SevenRooms (a restaurant reservation app).

What does the next decade look like for you?

We will build out our core platform and proven brands on both the more elevated, luxury side and the quality casual spectrum, and in different neighborhoods and geographies. We see a greater footprint outside of New York and internationally.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a NYC restaurateur who’s less established than you?

Dreams can turn quickly into nightmares. Be sure to understand and be diligent on all the components of the business at the outset: from capital to leasing to licensing and permitting, to inspections to infrastructure, and to cost. The potential pitfalls before even cooking your first dish are everywhere.


Restaurateur Stephen Starr in 2006, wearing a black suited suit and a black t-shirt
Stephen Starr in 2006, at a Friends of the High Line benefit
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Stephen Starr,
Starr Restaurants Group

What do you want your legacy to be?

[It’s] hard to refer to myself as a legacy at the moment, but I am most proud of the impact that I was able to make in the city of Philadelphia. The economic reverberations that Starr Restaurants was able to, and is still able to create in Philadelphia is what I’m most proud of. We created a ton of jobs and a real dining scene which hopefully paved the way for future generations of chefs and restaurateurs.

Who do you think is shaping the next decade of dining in New York?

There are so many creative and skilled artisans in New York bringing insanely good cocktails, pastry, dumplings, whatever their gift is to the dining scene. But truthfully, I think it’s the diners themselves — the people who eat out in NYC — [who] are the ones shaping the next decade, and if we’re smart, we’ll listen to them.

What does the next decade look like for you?

The next decade is going into the hotel business, that industry is something I’ve always wanted to do.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a NYC restaurateur who’s less established than you?

Don’t assume your idea is great because you really believe in it. Take the idea, write all the reasons why it won’t work, then a list of the reasons why it will — the list with the longest reasons is the one you should listen to.


Restaurateur Will Guidara talks into a blue microphone.
Will Guidara in 2018
Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Will Guidara,
formerly Make It Nice Group, new project TBD

What do you want your legacy to be?

The question of legacy is a hard one, because we’re all invariably imperfect, so I think of it as more of a pursuit. I also think there are two legacies that one leaves behind: their personal legacy and their professional one. For me, my personal legacy is more important. There, I’d like to be remembered for being generous, others-centered, and actively loving the people in my life: my wife, my family, my friends, and my community.

On the professional side, I’d like to be remembered in a couple ways. First, as someone who created restaurant environments defined by gracious hospitality — both for the guests, and for all the people that gave so much of themselves to those restaurants in helping create memorable experiences for those guests. And as someone who strived to create community around hospitality — through things like the Welcome Conference (an annual conference for people in the hospitality industry) for my peers in the dining room and anyone in any industry that derives significant and genuine pleasure out of bringing joy to others.

Who do you think is shaping the next decade of dining in New York?

I’d like to call attention to Gabe Stulman and his incredible group of partners at Happy Cooking. I’ve been incredibly inspired by him over the last couple years, because he puts more intention, thoughtfulness, and attention to detail into a 30-seat restaurant than most do into a 100-seat restaurant. And from my perspective, he doesn’t do it for accolades, or fanfare, or even reviews (less than half of the restaurants he’s opened have even gotten reviewed). Instead, he just does it for the love of the game. The best example is perhaps his most recent restaurant, the Jones. I honestly don’t know who is shaping the next decade of dining in New York City, but I hope that his example is one that more of us are inspired to follow.

What does the next decade look like for you?

I’m writing my next chapter as we speak, more to come.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a NYC restaurateur who’s less established than you?

Most of the lessons that I find myself sharing are ones that I learned from my dad, Frank Guidara. I’ll share two here: First, early in your career you should articulate as best you can why you fell in love with the restaurant business and chose to give your life to it in the first place. There will be moments where you need to tap back into that perspective, and you always want to have it at the ready. Second, something he always says is, “adversity is a terrible thing to waste.” In life, and in business, there will invariably be bumps in the road. We can’t always control what comes our way, but we can control how we react. If you’re able to step back and take a deep breath, sometimes your greatest challenges can end up being your greatest opportunities.


A black-and-white photo of Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, who are standing and wearing chef’s whites, and a sitting Jeff Zalaznick, who wears a vest.
Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, Jeff Zalaznick in 2014
Daniel Krieger/Eater

Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi,
and Jeff Zalaznick,
Major Food Group

What do you want your legacy to be?

We’d like to be thought of as a company that made significant strides toward bridging the gap between what’s refine[d] and what’s fun, what is art and what is commerce.

Who do you think is shaping the next decade of dining in New York?

I think the single most significant person shaping the next generation of New York’s dining scene is the exact same person it’s been since the very first day of hospitality. It’s the customer. They are the ultimate judge and juror of what we do. It doesn’t become a trend or a fad or an institution without them.

What does the next decade look like for you?

We’re looking at what challenges hospitality can present to us next and what opportunities we can provide for our team. I think operating our own hotels is absolutely on that list and something we’re actively working on. The sum of our parts has never been stronger, so absolutely anything is possible.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a NYC restaurateur who’s less established than you?

Set reasonable goals and work unreasonably hard towards them.


Christina Tosi, wearing a black-and-white horizontal striped long-sleeved shirt and a white apron, stands with her arms up in enthusiasm.
Christina Tosi in 2014
Paul Crispin Quitoriano/Eater

Christina Tosi,
Milk Bar

What do you want your legacy to be?

Legacy is a pretty heavy concept! I’m best carrying myself, my work, and my place in the world one day at a time. I believe in being a steady, dependable, and joyful individual. One not afraid to ask questions, be pushy, and blaze a trail through the tricky, sticky jungle of life. I hope that daily approach to humanity and curiosity is one that grows beyond me and continues far beyond my reach, whether through questioning the frosting on the side of a cake, steeping cereal in milk to use for wacky things, being a grownup that is adamant about making friendship bracelets for strangers, or making the aisles of the grocery feel a little more adventuresome.

Who do you think is shaping the next decade of dining in New York?

Yewande Komolafe. When we worked together over a decade ago, she was still finding her way in the world of food. Choosing every avenue of cuisine but the one that defined her palate, she now builds and shares the recipes, the flavors that are home to her, true to her. And our taste buds are listening. With unapologetic truth, individuality, Yewande and a handful of others are shaping the next decade of dining in and dining out.

What does the next decade look like for you?

See 1 :)

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a NYC restaurateur who’s less established than you?

Know yourself. Know your North Star, be incredibly flexible and nimble in between. All the fun (rollercoasters galore) happens there.


Ravi Derossi in a theater headshot from 1999
Courtesy of Ravi Derossi

Ravi DeRossi,
DeRossi Global (Death & Co, Amor y Amargo)

What do you want your legacy to be?

I honestly haven’t ever thought about my “legacy,” it’s not very important to me at the moment. In my 15 years as a business person in NYC, I have done a ridiculous amount of damage to the environment and the animal world on this planet; before considering my legacy, I’d like to settle up my carbon and karmic footprint.

Who do you think is shaping the next decade of dining in New York?

I work a lot these days and keep my head down, [so] I don’t pay much attention to what’s going on in the NYC dining scene. I’d have to say the people that are shaping the next decade are the ones that are implementing the best sustainability practices. This planet is headed for destruction; if everyone as a whole doesn’t consider the way they run their businesses, there won’t be much of a dining scene to shape in the future.

What does the next decade look like for you?

For me, the next decade will look similar to the last except on a much larger scope and in many more markets than NYC. We will continue to innovate in the ways of plant-based foods and to hone our sustainability practices and hopefully teach and influence others to do the same.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a NYC restaurateur who’s less established than you?

Like an artist or musician has a gift and passion for what they do, you should only enter this business if you have the same qualities. It’s more of an art than a business, and you have as much chance of success as you do at becoming a successful painter. And, if you do go for it, please consider the future and try to leave your small corner better than when you arrived.


Ivy Mix at her first bartending job 15 years ago
Courtesy of Ivy Mix

Ivy Mix,
Leyenda

What do you want your legacy to be?

I would like my legacy to focus around my dedication to raising the platform for women in a male-dominated industry. Via my partnership in my bar, Leyenda, with three women or the many women and minorities we hire there, and my work with Speed Rack (an all-women bartending competition that highlights up-and-comers in the cocktail industry), I hope to see people of all sorts and kinds being seen more at the top of the game.

Who do you think is shaping the next decade of dining in New York?

I would say people like Claire Sprouse from Hunky Dory and her dedication and demand for a greener industry will inevitably shape the industry in NYC. In NY, we actually have a fantastic trash and recycling program, but things like composting just aren’t done and the waste is horrifying. She is leading the way here and more will follow suit.

What does the next decade look like for you?

I am originally from Vermont and have hopes that cocktail culture will get to the point that I can open something quaint up there. But for now, I want to push more projects that elaborate on food and drink. I just finished writing my book that comes out in May, Spirits of Latin America, and I hope to expand what this industry can be to me, more than a bar and restaurant. I also want to bring Leyenda to other locations in the country and world!

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to an NYC restaurateur who’s less established than you?

I would absolutely say that no one is capable of everything. I am nothing without my business partners and mentors. I literally worked for my mentors for years before I opened a business with them. Partnerships can be hard, but in my opinion they are invaluable to work-life balance and simply making a successful business. For example, I am not the money person of a business. Paying bills, payroll, etc. are things I frankly just know I’m bad at, but I have two business partners that are just amazing at it and without them our business wouldn’t survive. My advice: Get partners with attributes that are not your own.


Gabriel Stulman, wearing a hat, stands wiht his arms crossed in front of Joseph Leonard.
Gabriel Stulman in 2014
Henry Hargreaves

Gabriel Stulman
Happy Cooking Hospitality

What do you want your legacy to be?

The truth is “legacy” in business should be reserved for those of us who achieve something that people still reference and talk about three generations or more after we pass from this earth.

I know what I want my legacy to be. I hope to earn the love of my family, my friends, and my community in a way that I am remembered as a wonderful father; a loving and caring husband; a proud and thoughtful son; a loyal and reliable friend; a generous person; a supportive teacher; an encouraging mentor; and a lover and carer of his community.

Who do you think is shaping the next decade of dining in New York?

Immigrants. Like the entire history of this city from start to present — the future of New York will continue to be defined by non-native New Yorkers.

What does the next decade look like for you?

I hope it involves some more cafes, restaurants, bars, or neighborhood joints. I also hope it involves some steps outside of restaurants and pursuing other passions of mine — what those are, well, I can thank my mother for making me a little superstitious, but I’d rather not say until we do it.

I hope that my next decade is full of peace, love, happiness, and laughter with those that I care about the most, enjoying early mornings, late nights, all the seasons and everything in between. I hope above all that I can be present enough to enjoy more of life’s small moments.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a NYC restaurateur who’s less established than you?

Don’t believe that you can have it all and don’t believe that you deserve it all. Nobody owes you anything. It’s unrealistic to believe that you can create, build, and operate a great business that is wildly successful by all the standard metrics and wins all the awards and accolades and also have the great family life where you are always home for dinner and bedtime stories. Restaurants by nature are businesses that require your attention from noon until night (at minimum), which is also the exact same hours that kids need to be dressed, fed, go to school, do homework, etc. and when family time requires the most attention — they are literally competing for the exact same hours. If your goal is to be amazing at either restaurant life or home life and to be your personal absolute best [at] either one, then it will require you to sacrifice time with one area in order to dedicate it to the other.

You might not win the Super Bowl, but just maybe with a lot of hard work and a little luck you can keep winning your division year after year. You might not go down in the hall of fame or the record books of restaurateurs if you choose more work-life balance, but hopefully you’ll share more smiles, hugs, and memories with those you love and hear a few more giggles of joy from babies. It’s up to you to decide what’s most important to you and it’s okay if that changes over time. It certainly has for me.


Drew Nieporent smiles with a cigar hanging out of his mouth in 2003.
Drew Nieporent in 2003
Getty/ J. Countess / Contributor

Drew Nieporent
Myriad Restaurant Group

What do you want your legacy to be?

Opening Montrachet with David Bouley, and redefining fine dining in America. Being among the first restaurateurs to hire wine directors at our restaurants Montrachet, Rubicon, and Tribeca Grill. Opening Nobu, which was and continues to be a game changer in the industry.

Who do you think is shaping the next decade of dining in New York?

Daniel Boulud and Jean-Georges Vongerichten have for the past 30 years consistently led by example. Their food is contemporary, and they’re indefatigable and relentless. What’s going to stop them? Looking ahead I’m excited to see what Will Guidara, Ignacio Mattos, Greg Baxtrom, and Markus Glocker have in store for us.

What does the next decade look like for you?

The next decade will be about small restaurants because the economics have changed and it’s nearly impossible to make a profit — rents in New York have become astronomical.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a NYC restaurateur who’s less established than you?

My advice to less-established restaurateurs is to run the numbers conservatively. Numbers don’t lie, and if they don’t work, don’t do it. If it doesn’t work, look for top-line opportunities, where they pay you for your expertise and you have no risk.


Rich Wolf, Noah Tepperberg, Jason Strauss, and Marc Packer, all wearing suits and holding up three fingers in front of a TAO backdrop.
Rich Wolf, Noah Tepperberg, Jason Strauss, and Marc Packer at Tao Nightclub’s three-year anniversary celebration in the Venetian Hotel and Casino Resort in Vegas in 2008
Photo by Denise Truscello/WireImage

Rich Wolf, Noah Tepperberg,
Jason Strauss, and Marc Packer,
Tao Group Hospitality

What do you want your legacy to be?

For us, as four born-and-raised New Yorkers, we’d love our legacy to be the impact we’ve had on our hometown. We strive to weave our brands into the “fabric of New York” and keep them there for as long as the term on our leases. We also love creating special moments for our guests and it brings us such an intense amount of joy every time we hear people tell stories about memorable nights they’ve had in our venues, specifically all the people who’ve met their life partners at one of our places.

Who do you think is shaping the next decade of dining in New York?

The people behind all of the technology that are fueling the industry from one’s smartphone are the ones who are really shaping the next decade of dining. From the delivery to the reservation apps and even Uber/Lyft, which have allowed people to dine in parts of the city they never thought would be possible due to lack of accessible transportation.

What does the next decade look like for you?

The next decade will be all about scale, as we have recently started to take our brands to other major markets like Chicago and Singapore and have been looking to some other cities like London and Toronto.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a NYC restaurateur who’s less established than you?

Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t do.


Disclosure: David Chang is producing shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of those shows, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.

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