Fashion and Food: Shop where you eat. Eat where you shop.

Featured image
Entering La Mercerie.

Fashion and food have a long standing love affair. Designers like Giorgio Armani and retailers like ABC, Bergdorf Goodman and Barneys have restaurants in their stores that are big moneymakers. Now there are some restaurants that are flipping the trend and selling foodie goodies and lifestyle accouterments to further imprint the owners’ taste on you. A visual “you are what you eat” is a shopping trend that’s on the upswing. The experience is really a movable feast. You can take it with you.

Walking through the Mercerie restaurant
The store beckons.

The Guild (actually Roman and Williams Guild)opened just over a year ago in an airy corner space on Howard Street. The owners, Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, the husband and wife partners behind the design firm Roman and Williams, have created a space where you can order what you are eating on, and much more. They partnered with Marie-Aude Rose to open La Mercerie in the front of the store. The chef is the wife of Daniel Rose of Le Coucou fame, and serves breakfast as well as all-day dining with her takes on French classics.

menu for ordering food and table ware at Guild in NY
The menu for ordering food and table ware.

When you walk into the store, you enter through the restaurant. Upon being seated, you are given a food menu, cocktail menu and table ware menu. The last comes with a small blue pencil. If you want the vase, silverware, napkin, or glass, you can tick the box next to the item and take it home with you.

The bar in The Mercerie in Soho
The restaurant’s bar is in the store, and the glasses are for sale.

The restaurant bar is in the store. Everything (except the open bottles of liquor and the lemons) is for sale. The merchandise is sourced from artisans around the globe and some of it was designed by the owners.

Inside the Guild store in NYC
The store becomes a living room for the restaurant.

The space is divided into seating and dining areas. All of them meticulously and artfully flower-filled.

The Guild store in NY
Everything in the store is for sale.

The larger pieces are custom order, but the smaller items can walk out the door with you when you leave.

A table display in the Guild
There are signs with detailed descriptions of the products and artisans.

Small signs are everywhere. They tell you about the artisan and the item. Nothing here is particularly inexpensive, but the good news is that if you do eat here you can dine in great style, using what you might not be able to afford.

Vases and candlesticks for sale
A curated selection.

Everything for the home is here.

A set table in NYC
One of the many table collections.

As befits a restaurant/store there is an emphasis on stylish dining. Since the plates, glasses and silverware might be used in the restaurant, it’s all been tested for durability so it will withstand restaurant use.

A bed for sale in NYC
A statement bed.

Beds, pillows and linens are also for sale. A changing “gallery of chairs” is arranged along the wall.

candles and candlesticks
Candles and candlesticks.

Candlesticks and handmade candles are tucked back in a corner.

Cleaning supplies for sale
Handmade brooms and totes.

You can buy stylishly hand-crafted brooms and other cleaning products, and many wonderful baskets.

Furniture for sale at Guild in NY
Different looks that are available.

The Guild also sells books, many vintage, along with vintage objets. The elevator at the center leads to a private party space downstairs.

The private dining room and book shop at the Guild
The private dining room and book shop.

Walk through the completely shopable “library” into the atmospheric room at the back. Giving a dinner here feels like entertaining in a very private home.

Leather swatches in the Guild
Swatches of leather and fur for your custom orders.

The swatches for custom orders are displayed as art.

Fall Flowers at the Guild
Fall flowers fill the front of the store.

As you go out, stop at the Emily Thompson flower stand. She does the arrangements throughout the store, as well as at Coucou and other shops and restaurants around town. Buy a bouquet, or have the staff design something for you.

Roman and Williams Guild and La Mercerie53 Howard Street  212 852-9099

Food for sale in NY
Italian treats are near the coffee bar.

Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria is located a few blocks away in Noho. It is the second restaurant from Donna Lennard and Alberto Avalle. Il Buco was born as an antiques shop and morphed into a restaurant, and Alimentari was conceived as a home for the products they love. It is open for breakfast and coffee in the morning and is a wine bar and restaurant for the remainder of the day.

Take out sandwiches in NYC
Pigs do fly, here.

You can eat here, or buy their food to take away. There are also many house-made and Italian products crafted using traditional methods, as well as artisan provisions for sale.

Cheese for sale in NY
You can dine next to Italian cheeses and pasta.

The tables are placed near the counters and shelves full of bottles and jars of all sorts of yummy things.

Food for sale in NYC
There is a good selection of dried meats and bread.

There is a good selection of Italian cheeses, meats, pasta, pasta sauces and homemade bread. You can also order panini or antipasti to go. Or get homemade gelato.

Italian food for sale in NYC
A shelf full of sauces, honeys and jams.

You can also buy jams, honey, sauces, syrups, olive oil, salt, spices and more.

Basquiat's studio in NYC
The boutique is located in Basquiat’s former studio.

Il Buca Vita is located down the street. The building, a civil war era stable,is where Jean-Michel  Basquiat lived and worked. He rented the building from Andy Warhol and he created some of his most significant work here.

A quote by Basquiat in his studio
A Basquiat as Samo quote remains.

Basquiat’s Samo graffiti remains in the store. Il Buco Vita was located nearby, but relocated to this space recently. The store sells furniture and objects that the owners discovered in Italy.

A home wares store in NYC
Chic rustic finds.

There are antiques and new items made by Italian artisans.

Colored glasses for sale.
Living with color.

Some of the furniture is for sale, and all of the tableware is as well.

Linen for sale in NYC
Linens and napkin rings.

Everything has a patina and glows with rustic Italian chic.

Place settings in NYC
Shoppable place settings.

You can buy linens for the table, napkins, dishes and silverware, as well as serveware.

Candles and vases in NY
Handmade candles and small vases.

The beeswax candles are hand made in Italy. They come in corkscrew shapes, and also in pillars. No two are the same, as they are handmade.

Table settings for sale in NYC
Set a colorful table.

Il Buco Vita offers trivets made from antique tiles, and vintage and new flatware.

Glasses and plates for sale in NYC
Choose from many kinds of drinking glasses.

The glasses come in many colors, and are handblown. So again, they have subtle differences.

Hand made napkin rings and corkscrews
Handmade napkin rings and corkscrews.

Metal candles sticks and napkin rings are made to fit the different sizes of candles.

Hand made beeswax candles
Handmade beeswax candles.

Tiny tapers and larger ones will give your table a touch of the Italian countryside. Everything is lovingly made there.

Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria, 53 Great Jones Street, 212-837-2622; Li Buco Vita, 57 Great Jones Street

The entrance to Tea and Sympathy in NYC
Welcome to Tea and Sympathy.

Across town is a funkier English outpost named Tea & Sympathy. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, this is a place to cherish if you miss traditional English comfort food.  Love a full English breakfast, Heinz baked beans included or an afternoon tea with scones and tea sandwiches or bangers and mash?

Inside the Tea and Sympathy restaurant in NYC
A very British decor.

The restaurant is small, and decorated with a loving-hands-at-home vibe.

Menu of Tea and Sympathy
The menu.

All your favorites are here.

Tea cakes in NYC
Afternoon tea is a specialty.

Tea is served in vintage tea pots and unmatched cups and saucers. Cakes and sandwiches get an upgrade with the addition of American-style cup cakes.

Inside Tea and Sympathy in NYC
Typically funky decor.

Everything is a bit wobbly and lived in. And you really would not want it to change. Tea & Sympathy also owns a London cab that you can rent for any occasion.

Tea mugs for sale in NYC
Mugs and new teapots.

Carry On Tea & Sympathy is next door. The boutique carries a good selection of iconic British items and brands.

Inside Tea and Sympathy shop nyc
A selection of new and vintage tea pots and snacks.

Teas, tea biscuits, tea pots and tea cozies, cups and mugs are all for sale.

Vintage tea cups in NYC
Vintage teaware for sale.

The shop has a nice selection of vintage cups and saucers. If you don’t want one of a kind vintage pieces, try floral and Brit-themed new pieces.

Walking through the Mercerie restaurant
Choose from many British brands.

British candies, snacks, chips, biscuits, jams, mustard, beans, chutneys, Bovril and other condiments line the shelves. Carry On sells Heinz canned spaghetti, mushy peas and canned treacle. If you want to feel like you are in England for a few hours, you ought to visit this British outpost.

Tea & Sympathy, 108 Greenwich Avenue, 212 807-8329

Carry on Tea & Sympathy, 110 Greenwich Avenue

Barbara Hodes is the owner of NYC Private Shopping Tour, offering customized tours in New York and Brooklyn.

Recent Posts