Crops Rotated

The New York Times, 1986:

The recently spruced up Union Square area has become fertile ground for a new crop of restaurants. Union Square Cafe, an inviting, low-key newcomer on the site of the former Brownies, a health food restaurant, is one of the most appealing of the lot.

In 1995:

“We’re still in the same area, which is important,” Ms. Hirsch said. “We think that people who come to Barnes & Noble will appreciate having our store nearby because what we have at our store, you can’t get anywhere else.”

In the last few years, Revolution Books seemed something of a lonely hanger-on on East 16th, which has turned into a local restaurant row led by the upscale and critically acclaimed Union Square Cafe. The new block also has a restaurant, Uncle Moe’s Burrito and Taco Shop.

And in 2014:

Mr. Ellis, who grew up in the neighborhood and whose father was Mr. Meyer’s original landlord, said the closing of Union Square Cafe would be painful for him, for the area and for Mr. Meyer, but a small, independent fine-dining restaurant could no longer operate in one of New York’s busiest crossroads. Still, he said, he could still envision a partnership with Mr. Meyer’s restaurant group.

“A Shake Shack could do very well in that space,” he said.

Photo by David Bliwas