This New Soho Store Is Part Restaurant, Part Flower Shop and 100 Percent Dreamy
For all its finer qualities, there are days when this city just wallops us (looking at you, hellish January subway commute). And on those days, all we honestly want to do is go sit somewhere pretty, eat a snack and look at things that make us happy. There’s a new haunt to heed that call, friends: Roman and Williams Guild.
The passion project of the husband-and-wife designer team behind the interiors of Le Coucou and Studio (to name a few), the guild offers up a café, a flower shop and home design mecca rolled into one dreamy jewel box. (Meaning wine, pastries, floral arrangements, books and decor are all part of a visit here, should you choose to take advantage.)
Take a virtual tour below. Then get yourself to Howard Street and take a real one.
Anchored by snaking French-blue velvet banquettes, the front of the guild offers a casually elegant—and yes—extremely ’Grammable dining experience. La Mercerie (a collab between Roman and Williams and restaurateur, Stephen Starr) has been open since December, tiding visitors over with coffee and homemade viennoiseries (to stay or go), as well as cocktails in the evenings. But the full restaurant, helmed by lauded Parisian chef Marie-Aude Rose, is officially (finally!) open for business as of Valentine’s Day. Godspeed getting a reservation.
Rose dreamed up the menu for La Mercerie around the following principals: “Bread. Eggs. Cheese”—meaning simple indulgences like this ham-and-cheese crepe will be the cornerstone of the offerings. You can also expect a range of savory tarts, cocottes and fresh, seasonal soups. (Heads up: The full menu will be announced on February 10.)
In keeping with the 360-degree retail experience, everything in La Mercerie is for sale, literally down to the fittings on the kitchen sink. Love the stoneware dinner plates and vintage silverware? You’ll be given a petite resource card so you can leave with a very decadent doggie bag, should you please.
At its core, RW Guild is a retail experience, and the sprawling back half of the space is dedicated to found objects, artisan goods and the designers’ personal line of furniture, lighting and accessories. And while you probably don’t want to know the price on some of the larger ticket items, we were delighted to find a host of goodies we could actually scoop up as a random treat for ourselves. (Think: scalloped bread plates from Japan, linen cocktails napkins and slim, beeswax candlesticks.)
The concept here is in polar opposition to the age of online shopping. Not only do you see and feel the quality of your purchase in person, but you take things one step further by test-driving them. (Aka you can shop for cocktail glasses while drinking a cocktail out of the purchase in question—all while perusing a layered space that feels like home.)
The Flower Shop
Gauging that clientele will be of the “heck yes, I’m gonna treat myself to an ethereal floral arrangement” variety, the Emily Thompson Flowers component is conveniently located right off the front door. With galvanized metal jugs of blooms tumbling over the apron-front sink and open shelving, it’s a feast for the eyes...and a hazard to the pocketbook.
Because all components here are thoughtfully intermingled, Thompson’s arrangements carry over throughout the store and restaurant, adding a wild pop of drama to nearly every surface. Swoon.
What was that about delays on the blue lines?
Roman and Williams Guild New York, 53 Howard St.; rwguild.com or 212-852-9099