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Restaurants Now Inviting Their Patrons To Take Home Their Place Settings As Mementos |

Restaurants Now Inviting Their Patrons To Take Home Their Place Settings As Mementos

Roman and Williams Guild

La Mercerie Restaurant


Today a new concept in experience retail is opening in NYC’s Soho district. Interior design firm and home furnishings store, Roman and Williams Guild, in partnership with Starr Restaurants, are launching La Mercerie, a fine dining restaurant with a Parisian-inspired flair, where everything on the table will be for sale, including the dishes, glassware and flower centerpiece. An illustrated card showing the items on offer complement the menu with dining selections.

Husband-and-wife design team, and owners of the design store, Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, bring years of restaurant-design expertise to the venture, having designed some of Starr Restaurants locations, as well as The Breslin, Lafayette, and The Dutch. With the designers curating the product selections, and Starr providing the kitchen expertise, under chef Marie-Aude Rose, La Mercerie is said by the New York Times to take the crossover concept of restaurant and retail the farthest in this emerging trend.

Dining and shopping have long gone together hand-in-glove. What’s a trip to Ikea without a visit to the café for a taste of Swedish meatballs or a road trip without a stop at a Cracker Barrel?

But what is unique about the La Mercerie offering is its combination of fine dining and high-design tableware. In this day of selfies where taking a picture to preserve the memory of a restaurant experience is de rigeur, giving patrons the opportunity to take home a place setting as a memento of the experience is an idea whose time has come.

Tiffany and Company is doing it uptown at The Blue Box Café where its Tiffany Blue dinnerware is offered alongside the food, so guests can wine and dine and shop. And at Blackbarn’s new Chelsea Market store, dining is as much an attraction as its furniture and home décor selections for visitors to shop.

Like La Mercerie’s owners, the design team behind Blackbarn, Mark and Kristen Zeff, also have experience designing restaurants and hotels as well as residences. These entrepreneurs understand what consumers want in fine design for their homes, as well as the essential role that design plays in the fine dining experience.

More such dining-led shopping experiences, or as RH Chairman CEO Gary Friedman calls them “integrated hospitality experiences,” are sure to follow. Starr Restaurants, with its 34 fine-dining establishments in 6 premium markets, could be on the vanguard of this trend.

Category: Dinnerware  Tags: ,  Comments off
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