Restaurateur Danny Meyer announced in an email Friday that Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern and Blue Smoke, all part of the Union Square Hospitality Group family, would close for on-premises dining.

With the increase in COVID-19 cases, the world-famous restaurant group USHG announced that Union Square Cafe, Gramercy Tavern and Blue Smoke’s Meyer businesses will close the indoor dining area and turn to takeout and delivery-only services. “Given the growing number of positive COVID-19 cases in New York City, and even within our own USHG community, we are making the decision that is in the best interest of the health and safety of our people,” Meyer writes in the letter.

All three restaurants will remain open for takeout and delivery, and both Gramercy Tavern and Blue Smoke are also doing nationwide shipping. The decision Friday, mirrors the one made in March, where the restaurant group decided to close all its restaurants just a few days before the state-mandated shutdown order came in.

Nearly 100 employees were laid off as a result of this latest shutdown, a spokesperson for USHG tells Eater. The spokesperson said the employees would receive two weeks worth of salary and health insurance through January 1, 2021. Back in March, USHG was forced to lay off 2,000 employees due to the shutdown order.

USHG’s other restaurants that are currently open — Daily Provisions and Tacocina — will continue to operate as takeout and delivery spots for the remainder of the year. USHG said the restaurants would remain closed for on-premises dining at least through the end of this year, and Meyer said in his letter that outdoor dining would return “the minute winter weather is behind us and the environment returns to feeling safe.”



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