First Look: Ponce City Market’s The Mercury

How the team behind The Pinewood and Proof Old Fashioned cocktail syrup are revitalizing midcentury cuisine at their new Ponce City Market concept.

The menu at The Mercury is largely influenced by midcentury american culture. tell us more—and why?

Mike Blydenstein: I think we’re reopening an old genre. I mean, when’s the last time you just sat down and had prime rib or a crab Louis salad? You never see them much anymore and you ask yourself why, because it’s incredible food.

You’ve brought back those dishes with your own spin.

MB: We’re going for the classics here and just putting our own twist on it—steaks, chops, raw bar done right. You can’t beat that kind of food. We’re having fun with it. We’re playing the hits with a little bit of modern flair. My favorite dish is definitely our certified prime rib.

The cocktail program is also a bit of a throwback.

Julian Goglia: There are fun, kind of cheesy drinks like amaretto sours and whiskey, and there are things that are a little different, like tableside cocktails. Cocktails are as classic American as baseball.

How did you go about infusing a sense of nostalgia into the mercury’s food and drink menus?

JG: We got kind of nerdy about looking at menus from the ’50s and ’60s for inspiration and adjusting things from there; we were going for that New York–style, hopping place. The Mercury is just supposed to be the party at Ponce City Market.

MB: We had pretty strong themes about the spirit of the place. I’ve always been a huge fan of midcentury modern design. We wanted to create that supper club vibe that you might find on the East Coast in the ’60s. There’s a lot of walnut, wood and some custom pieces.

What’s the most interesting element in this new space?

JG: The bar is what I’m probably most excited about. It’s 36 seats. It’s ambitious but exciting. We’re rooted in classic culture, and the bar is an extension of that philosophy.