Note: I was an invited guest of Mercantile & Mash for one of my visits in preparing this review. All opinions expressed in this post are solely mine. Thanks, Mercantile & Mash!
The first visit to Mercantile and Mash, The Indigo Road Restaurant Group’s newest venture located at the Cigar Factory on East Bay Street, feels a little bit like arriving into a new foreign country. The sights and sounds are interesting and enticing, but it’s a little confusing to try to figure out the rules on how things work. There are two exterior entrances to Mercantile, a home goods market/takeaway/dine-in restaurant and one separate exterior entrance to Bar Mash, and traffic appears to flow differently from each of the three entrances. For Mercantile, you’re either greeted by a cashier, if you enter from the eastern entrance and not the entrance facing East Bay Street or by a large display table featuring locally-sourced housewares and jarred foods, with a central coffee bar/cafe area just beyond. It might not be readily apparent to the first-time visitor, but Mercantile is an order-at-the-counter-and-browse kind of place. The Mash entrance is decidedly more straightforward. You’re headed into a really great bar space.
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