Danny Meyer on Rising Rent Pricing Out NYC Restaurants: Can’t We Be More Like London?
While, as a food-loving city, we’re collectively wringing our hands over the great tragedy that is Union Square Cafe being priced out of its lease and forced to relocate, Danny Meyer penned a thoughtful, largely blameless op-ed in the New York Times expressing his feels.
Among possible solutions, Danny considers how London’s ancient pubs are able to stay open and preserve neighborhood identity in spite of a growing economy:
“Compare [New York's system of gentrification] with a place like London, where neighborhoods have, for generations, succeeded in retaining their distinctive identities and institutions. There are scores of restaurants and pubs that are far, far older than Union Square Cafe. Landlords permit classic establishments to endure even when their original operators sell them, for there is something in that culture that prizes continuity, even over maximized profit.
We may never be like London, but I wonder if we would find ourselves in this situation if New York had something like London’s Rent Assessment Panel, a government committee that resolves rent disputes and is credited with helping prevent rapid erosion of the city’s neighborhood fabric.”
Your move, De Blasio. You can read the rest of Meyer’s piece here.