NYC Mogul Pulls Restaurants From Hotel Turned Migrant Shelter

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
August 14, 2023

Two New York City restaurants owned by famous restaurateur Danny Meyer are closing their doors after the hotel that housed them turned into a migrant shelter.

The restaurants, called Maialino and Marta, have been in Manhattan's Redbury Hotel since 2022 and 2014, respectively. Meyer's company, the Union Square Hospitality Group, is closing the restaurants on August 25.

The Redbury was converted to a shelter earlier this month, when around 100 families were moved into the four-star hotel. It's the latest move by the city government to accommodate the 90,000 migrants who have arrived from the southern border since last spring.

Union Square Hospitality Group pointed to event spaces and the hotel bar no longer being available for their use as a reason for the closures. "The viability of our business relies significantly on hotel-related [food and beverage] operations," the group said in a statement.

The group, however, expressed support for the measures taken by the hotel.

"We remain fully supportive of the Redbury’s initiative and will continue advocating for policy change that expedites work permits for asylum seekers," the group said.

A spokeswoman for Meyer's group said earlier this month that the plan to house migrants would not have an impact on operations.

"We look forward to welcoming our new neighbors and assisting the hotel with this initiative," spokeswoman Katie Reisert said.

Meyer, the founder of Shake Shack and owner of other notable restaurants, is a major donor to the Democratic Party, having donated tens of thousands of dollars in recent years.

New York City has struggled to manage the migrant influx. Democratic mayor Eric Adams's office said in a late July statement that New Yorkers can expect to see migrants sleeping on sidewalks.

The administration is also handing out flyers at the southern border telling migrants to "consider another city."

The flyer details the high cost of housing and food migrants will have to pay if they travel to New York City.

"Please consider another city as you make your decision about where to settle in the U.S.," the flyer says in English and Spanish.

The city's struggles come after Adams promised on the campaign trail that New York would "remain a sanctuary city under an Adams administration." Adams in January said New York City has "no room" for migrants.

Published under: New York City