Untitled, the nearly decade-old Union Square Hospitality Group restaurant attached to the Whitney Museum, is permanently shutting down, according to a USHG spokesperson.
The American art museum is converting the Untitled space into a temporary, quick-serve pop-up spot called the Whitney Cafe, which will be run by Union Square Events, according to the spokesperson. The new grab-and-go cafe will stock a variety of prepared foods, including sandwiches and salads, pastries, coffee, wine, and beer. Union Square Events will also stay involved with the museum as the Whitney’s exclusive catering partner, the spokesperson shared with Eater.
It is not clear how long the Whitney Cafe’s run will last, or what will come next for the space after the pop-up is done.
“For now, at least, we’ve concluded that what museum guests and the broader Meatpacking neighborhood really wants is a quick and casual dining experience,” USHG CEO Danny Meyer said in a statement. “It’s bittersweet to say farewell to Untitled, which has now been closed for a year, but I am equally heartened by our continued partnership with the Whitney, working together to evolve our culinary offerings in a way that best serves the museum and its neighborhood.”
Untitled’s closure marks the second restaurant in Meyer’s lauded restaurant group to shutter amid the ongoing economic crisis during the pandemic. Pioneering barbecue restaurant Blue Smoke in Flatiron shuttered last December, alongside acclaimed jazz club Jazz Standard.
The Whitney, which opened in its current location in 2015, remained closed for months after the initial citywide shutdown in March. Museums were not allowed to reopen to the public until the fall last year, leaving attached restaurants in similar dormant states. Restaurateur Ignacio Mattos’s fine dining spot Flora Bar at the Met Breuer permanently shut down in February after keeping its doors closed since March. Stephen Starr’s upscale Russian restaurant Veronika inside the Fotografiska museum has yet to reopen.
Untitled has morphed multiple times since its beginnings as a cafe and restaurant inside the Whitney’s former location on the Upper East Side in 2011. In its most recent iteration, Untitled was a casual, all-day cafe catering to museum-goers looking for salads, sandwiches, and other light fare. Previously, it was a more ambitious restaurant: Well-known head chef Suzanne Cupps — USHG’s first female executive chef — rose through the ranks at Untitled and eventually led the restaurant with an acclaimed menu of vegetable-focused shared plates. Cupps departed in 2019 and has since taken on a new role running the kitchen at Dig’s new full-service restaurant in the West Village, 232 Bleecker.
Separately, USHG has gradually started reopening some of its other restaurants for indoor and outdoor dining after previously reducing operations to takeout and delivery-only late last year. Michelin-starred Gramercy Tavern reopened for outdoor dining last week, with indoor dining to follow on March 18; flagship Union Square Cafe reopens on Thursday, and Marta and Porchlight are also scheduled to reopen soon, according to the spokesperson.