Why has no one ever attempted to open the ultimate spot to just hang out? We Angelenos have long yearned to find a ‘clubhouse’ of sorts with high ceilings, a serious wine selection, a seasoned chef in the back, and an atmosphere that doesn’t say “we’ll need that table back in an hour.” One issue is, of course, where to put it? If it’s downtown, the westsiders will roll their eyes and stick to Abbot Kinney. Put it on Main Street and citizens living east of Fairfax start to groan.
Can everyone agree on Hollywood? Only time will tell, but George Abou-Daoud, of the Bowery and Delancey, may have struck gold with The Mercantile, open now. It’s a familiar formula of panini (sandwiches are so last year), Italian sodas, and pastry, ice cream, charcuterie, and cheese bars, but Abou-Daoud has also put Kris Morningstar in the kitchen and a hefty wine bar front and center making this the kind of place where you’ll want to stay a while. According to Eater LA, you can expect lunches like panini with pastrami, Gruyere, and sauerkraut on rye or ham, Gruyere, and black truffle butter on baguette alongside such delectable ice cream flavors as caramel-corn and blueberry-lavender.
Set to open sometime soon just next door is his District, which will take care of your more sit-down/bistro needs. Meanwhile, the Mercantile seems like just the kind of market we all wished we shopped in all the time – a foodie’s paradise and an Angeleno’s potential new clubhouse.