Photos by Caitlin Abrams
The transformation is almost complete—what was once old-world flavored Brasserie Zentral will soon launch as fresh and clean Mercury Dining Room and Rail from the Blue Plate group. In fact, the opening date has been declared to be Tuesday, October 25th! Starting with breakfast and rolling right through the night, the downtown eatery will be ready with accessible everyday food that includes all-day breakfast and a robust happy hour.
As Mercury, the bones are still intact and the renovation hasn't been that extensive. The space is lighter and brighter with white paint covering the once-golden walls, and smoky blue upholstery replacing the deep maroon on the half-moon booths.
By removing the awnings from the outside of the building, they've capitalized on the windows and brought in more natural light. Some lighting is new, but they've kept those gorgeous globe lights that hung over booths. Televisions and more high top tables have been added near the bar area.
Speaking of the bar, there are new stools with a slight back and a new bar top and tap system. But the tiling that was there has been incorporated into the current design.
The back bar's wood has been refinished with a darker stain, but the clock remains. A nice addition will be the wine-on-tap system that Blue Plate uses in their other locations, which assures a fresh glass every time.
The kitchen remains unchanged, as it should be. It is still the Cadillac of cooking lines, and you can still sit in front and watch the chefs play around on it.
The space next door that was once Foreign Legion is still being worked on to become Shindig Event Center. It too has been given a light refresh, the bar is mostly unchanged, though the room has been refigured and opened up to create flexible spaces.
Shindig will be open for events soon after the launch of Mercury. Stay tuned for a look at the food in the coming weeks, or just get ready for happy hour on October 25!