On my last visit to Paris, everyone told me that I needed to visit the new oyster and cocktail bar, Le Mary Celeste, in the Marais. After a day spent wandering the angular streets of the neighborhood, circling back on the same blocks by accident, I finally came across the curve of Rue Commines, and just at the point in the triangular street was Le Mary Celeste. A pale blue exterior leading to an open bar—a calm setting for a tired-footed traveler.
The owners, New Yorker's Josh Fontaine, Adam Tsou, and Colombian-born Carina Soto Velasquez Tsou previously worked with David Rager and Cheri Messerli of Weekends on the nearby Taqueria Candelaria (it's a small world). After the success of Candelaria, the trio and the duo teamed up once again to design the interior of Le Mary Celeste, which is located in a former video editing office. The restaurant has a nautical vibe: rope coiled around columns, white-washed brick and seafoam green paint, and a tropical mural of a toucan. Top it off with slow Elvis ballads rotating in a vintage LP player in the back of the room—you'd swear that you were in a coastal village somewhere, and not deep in the streets of Paris.
Photography by Alexa Hotz for Remodelista.
Above: Fontaine described the origin of new restaurant's namesake to Vogue: "It was a boat in the 19th century that left New York carrying a cargo of pure alcohol and then was found adrift, all provisions on board, except for the crew."
Above: Large windows are on either side of the restaurant make for an open-air feel.
Above: The menu are designed by Rager and have collages on the back by Rosemarie Auberson.
Above: The interior, formerly a video editing office, was stripped down by Rager and Messerli, who built it back up again from scratch.
Above: The brick was reclaimed from building sites around the area and whitewashed.
Above: A custom-built modular hex table.
Above: The barstools and slatted backlit banquettes were also made for the bar. The stained0glass window designs are the work of Messerli.
Above L: Glassware is wrangled with rope tied with proper nautical knots. Above R: Rope is tightly wrapped around the restaurant's columns.
Above: A vintage stereo setup is matched with vintage LPs.
Above: A bucket of just-watered succulents behind the bar.
Above: Whitewashed bricks are color-blocked with seafoam green paint. The lighting is by LA artist Heather Levine.
Above: The toucan mural.
Above: Watercolor flags hang above the back stairs.
Above: White chevron parquet on the ceiling.
Above: The bar top and surrounding deck flooring were made from wood palettes previously used for shaping cement forms.
Below: Location of Le Mary Celeste in the Marais.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on June 6, 2013 as part of our Travels with an Editor: Paris issue.