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Danny Meyer to Require Booster Shots for Diners, Employees at Union Square Hospitality Restaurants

Plus, a popular Vietnamese sandwich shop plots a sequel in Chinatown — and more intel

Customers seated throughout the busy indoor dining room at Intersect by Lexus.
The dining room at Intersect by Lexus.
Louise Palmberg/Eater NY

Danny Meyer announced on Wednesday that his Union Square Hospitality Group will soon require customers to show proof of a COVID-19 booster shot to dine in its restaurants. The requirement goes into effect on January 24, 2022, for customers, while USHG restaurant employees must provide proof of a booster shot “effective immediately,” according to a spokesperson for the hospitality group. Employees of the company are eligible to receive up to eight hours of paid time off to receive their booster, the spokesperson says.

Meyer, who also founded the Shake Shack burger chain, said the publicly traded company would instate its own policy on booster shots.

NYC officials recently announced an expansion to the city’s vaccine mandate — from a single dose for adults over the age of 12, to a completed vaccine series, as of December 27 — following a surge in coronavirus cases nationally. In light of the CDC’s latest guidelines on booster shots, though, some restaurants are taking vaccine enforcement into their own hands. Earlier this week, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that two restaurants in the West Coast city planned to instate booster requirements for customers, making them among the first in the nation to do so.

A popular Vietnamese sandwich shop plots a sequel

Vietnamese sandwich shop Banh Mi Co Ut is plotting a second restaurant in Chinatown. The Chinatown shop known for its “overstuffed” and reasonably priced banh mi announced the second restaurant — called Kitchen Co Ut — in an Instagram post on Wednesday. It’s expected to open two blocks from the first restaurant, at 85 Chrystie Street, between Hester and Grand streets, in March.

A part-time pickler finds a full-time home

New to the Fresh Meadows neighborhood of Queens is Uncle Edik’s Pickles, a small storefront run by 29-year-old Edward Ilyasov. The part-time pickler left his job on Wall Street to open this shop, according to Time Out New York, where he’s now selling jars of regular, spicy, and habanero pickles full-time ($8 to $10 each). The one-month-old business is just the start for Ilyasov, who hopes to eventually distribute his pickles across the United States.

More NYC restaurants turn to nationwide delivery

The challenges of the pandemic have prompted more and more local restaurants to turn to e-commerce to make up for lost sales, Crain’s New York Business reports. Modern Bread and Bagel, on the Upper West Side, and Nom Wah are two of a handful of businesses now shipping their menus across the country via online ordering company Goldbelly. “The shipping has helped to save the business,” Orly Gottesman, owner of Modern Bread and Bagel, tells the publication.

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