Restaurant guru Danny Meyer brought Shake Shack out of a humble hot dog stand. A tiny storefront could be its next big hit as it prepares to open its fourth location this week.
It’s not going national yet, but Daily Provisions – Meyer’s all-day café concept – is slowly spreading across the city with its small dining rooms for sit-down meals and the brisk business of ready-made take-away meals.
While Meyer wouldn’t comment on his future plans for Daily Provisions, industry analysts say Side Dish has the potential to grow nationally, albeit on a lesser scale than Shake Shack – now a publicly traded company valued at around $ 3.5 billion Dollar.
Shake Shack started out as a hot dog stand in 2001. By 2004, it became a popular, permanent kiosk in Madison Square Park. It now has around 250 locations worldwide.
Daily Provisions isn’t quite there yet, but it’s opening its newest location on Wednesday at Hudson Yards in Brookfield’s Manhattan West.
A restaurant investor told Side Dish that Daily Provisions had the potential to become a national hit – though perhaps not on the order of Shake Shack.
“You can get a real dinner that feels gourmet and is priced accordingly,” said the investor. “It could be a great success.”
As for Meyer, he tells Side Dish that Daily Provisions is just a “lucky coincidence” in many ways.
Meyer made a name for himself with the Union Square Cafe, which he founded in 1985 at the age of 27. When he relocated in 2017, “a tiny, adjoining storefront” was part of the deal, he said.
“We asked ourselves what we could give the neighborhood and the idea for an all-day kitchen that served really good versions of things that one could wish for from breakfast to dinner was born,” said Meyer. That was daily supplies.
Think of a neighborhood grocery cafe where you can order coffee and crullers along with sit-down meals or ready-to-go meals – from family roast chicken dinners to side dishes and baked goods – all a little healthier and more upscale than fast food Versions.
Daily Provisions still shares “a lot of its DNA” with the Union Square Cafe, Meyer said.
Part of Daily Provisions serves as a bakery and prepares bread specialties – like a “Sprezzatura” that is baked for the Union Square Cafe.
Meyer opened the second Daily Commissions on the Upper West Side. It opened just before the lockdown in the fall of 2019 and closed for a while before focusing on delivering and taking away and preparing food, Meyer said.
A West Village location quietly opened in August, but with limited hours and menu options as they are still waiting for Con Edison to turn the gas on. Their official opening is next month. At the moment, the West Village location mainly serves baked goods, including the croissants “everything” right down to their egg spoons.
“We are very excited to get the West Village and Manhattan West up and running as they were in the works before COVID and represent tremendous growth,” said General Manager Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez. “We’ll wait and see how these two are doing before we say what’s next.”
Each location will be flexible enough to adapt to the local audience: In contrast to the more residential Upper West Side and the West Village, the Manhattan West location will focus more on a returning business clientele.
“Manhattan West has a bigger kitchen and will allow us to offer more corporate catering to a larger office crowd,” said Waldman Rodriguez.
The first location, on 19th St., started with a focus on breakfast.
“The first year was about seeing what our neighbors like and trying to have a great experience,” said Meyer. “The coffee, crullers, and egg sandwiches were an instant hit, as were our lunch sandwiches and cookies. So we added dinner and favorites – like fried chicken and Brussels sprouts. ”
During the lockdown, Daily Provisions focused on the delivery of groceries, takeaway and al fresco dining – and was a “one-stop shop”.
The chain also started a division selling goods from local manufacturers such as New Jersey’s Vesta Chocolate, Joe Coffee, Handsome Brook Farm Eggs and Caffe Panna Ice Cream, along with DP’s own range of sauces, jams and breads.
The new room in Manhattan West offers space for 25 inside and 30 people outside. The menu will feature a new strawberry cheesecake cruller as an “ode to the return” from New York, said Daily Provisions Chef Amanda Wilson.
Meyer’s newest restaurant, Ci Siamo, will be located above the Daily Provisions location in Manhattan West. The restaurant with 120 seats will open next month. There will also be outdoor seating for 40 people.
As for the daily supplies, according to Meyer, it is to be expected that more will sprout across the city.
“We focus on making conscious decisions about where to put daily supplies,” said Meyer. “Whether these are new neighborhoods like Manhattan West or more established ones like the West Village and the Upper West Side, we want to root our roots in neighborhoods whose residents and employees really appreciate good food and drink.”