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Union Square Hospitality Group Joins Growing List of Restaurants Mandating Vaccination

Plus, the City Council is set to vote today on a bill that would require food delivery apps to share more customer information with restaurants — and more intel

Round tables and chairs inside an empty restaurant dining room with stairs leading up to a second floor with more seating. A bar with chairs is on the left.
USHG’s Union Square Cafe
Nick Solares/Eater

Union Square Hospitality Group to require staff and indoor diners to show proof of vaccination starting in September

NYC dining heavyweight Union Square Hospitality Group has joined a growing number of restaurants now requiring vaccinations among customers and staffers. CEO Danny Meyer told CNBC on Thursday that all of the company’s full-service restaurants, including Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern, will require employees to be vaccinated and indoor diners to show proof of vaccination starting September 7 — although unvaccinated diners can still dine outdoors, according to a restaurant spokesperson.

“We know right now that the vaccine works and it’s time to make sure that this economy continues to move forward,” Meyer said. “There’s just no going back.”

Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted on Thursday that the decision was “HUGE” and underscored the city’s support of USHG’s new mandate. (NYC implemented a vaccine mandate for the city’s roughly 340,000 workers starting in September, and de Blasio has strongly advocated that vaccinations are key to the city’s recovery.) New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells chimed in on social media as well, saying that “I hope the new USHG policy requiring diners to show proof of vaccination is adopted far and wide.” USHG follows other NYC hotspots including Dame, Estela, and Frenchette in now requiring diners to show proof of vaccination.

In other news

— Lower East Side Italian spot Trapizzino, from chef Stefano Callegari, reopens this week with a new menu, including pasta debuts like casarecce cacio e pepe, and a first-time cocktail program.

— The Garret Cocteleria is debuting a new pop-up dubbed Jungle Summer out of its Nolita space, complete with a floor-to-ceiling tropical plant installation, according to a restaurant spokesperson. Opening today and running through October, the pop-up’s food menu from chef Yuval Ochoa includes items like a spicy tuna tartare and dragon fruit salad; and beverage director Max Stampa-Brown put together a mezcal and rum-laden cocktail lineup.

— Also starting today, critically acclaimed West Village bar Katana Kitten is hosting Japanese shochu brand Iichiko for a limited-time “iichiko-inspired izakaya viewing experience” tied to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, according to a bar spokesperson. A range of Iichiko cocktails and a couple of special food items, like a KK Wagyu dog with radish sprouts and masago wasabi aioli, will be on deck, and customers will be able to watch the Olympics at the bar. The pop-up runs through August 8.

— After filing for bankruptcy last year, Brooklyn Roasting Company has re-emerged and is now expanding into new locations and launching a new brand in partnership with the Breakfast Club’s Angela Yee, Brooklyn Paper reports.

— NuLeaf, a new vegan lunch spot stocked with smoothies, sandwiches, and salads, opens in Flatiron.

— The City Council is expected to pass a bill today that would require food delivery companies like Grubhub and Postmates to share customer information — such as names, phone numbers, email addresses, and order details — with restaurants using the apps.

— Happy Thursday:

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