The next step in retail restaurants is happening at new Soho cafe La Mercerie, which opens Thursday as a display piece for furniture and design store Roman and Williams Guild, where absolutely everything in the restaurant is for sale. The team behind the project is very pedigreed, too, with Starr Restaurants (Upland, Le Coucou) running the kitchen side, the Times reports.
It’s a collaboration that makes sense, given that Roman and Williams Guild designed Upland and Le Coucou, both Starr restaurants. The high-end design firm has been behind some of the city’s most acclaimed restaurants, such as The Breslin, Lafayette, and The Dutch. The chef here will be Marie-Aude Rose, who cooked at acclaimed Paris restaurant Spring — where she met her husband Daniel Rose, the chef at Le Coucou. Here, Rose created a very Parisian menu of all-day dishes like various crepes, egg dishes, soups, seafood, and more. The full menu is below.
The space is one that New Yorkers will likely want to hang out in. Fitting in nicely to the neighborhood’s chic, fashion-forward aesthetic, there is lots of greenery, gold, and lush blues surrounded by soft lighting and warm woods. And as is the shtick here — mercerie means haberdashery in English — it’s all for sale.
Illustrated cards offered at the end of the meal list every possible purchase, from the tables themselves all the way to the flowers decorating their surface. Roman and Williams owners Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch have curated the goods here, which include pieces sourced from Waterworks, Phaidon, and H. Theophile, as well as from around the world, like Japanese clay donabe, French silverware, and Swedish linens. The products don’t come cheap, with a set of six French coffee glasses selling for $85 and a single Danish ceramic teapot going for $350.
Retail restaurants have been on the rise both in NYC and nationally as of late as a way to entice shoppers back into stores. Here in NYC, new additions include Tiffany’s Blue Box Cafe and El Rey Annex in Todd Snyder’s flagship store. 10 Corso Como will also open a store and restaurant in South Street Seaport next year. La Mercerie takes it a step further, though, by encouraging purchases through sampling in the restaurant.
Starting Thursday, December 21, La Mercerie will be open daily at 10 a.m. for grab-and-go pastries and coffee, with cocktails from 4 p.m to 7 p.m.. Then come mid-January, the cafe will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.