Mercantile and Mash Opens in Charleston’s Historic Cigar Factory

Mercantile and Mash, the newest addition to The Indigo Road’s family of restaurants, opened to the public on September 25.

Located in the recently renovated Cigar Factory in Charleston, South Carolina, Mercantile provides guests a variety of culinary experiences including a grab-and-go menu, counter service at the coffee bar, a full-service chef’s counter and an elevated grocery program featuring products from local and regional vendors and purveyors. Adding to its culinary offerings, Mercantile offers an assortment of goods made in-house including fresh pastas with accompanying sauces, a daily rotisserie selection, barbecue sauces and marinades, Southern-style dips, and regional cheeses. Additionally, a walk-in butcher closet with a number of cured meats caters to guests seeking unique charcuterie selections as well as more traditional options.  

On October 1, Executive Chef Tim Morton will join chef de cuisine Elliot Cusher as part of the Mercantile and Mash culinary team. Previously, Morton worked as executive sous chef at The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Raleigh, North Carolina, under the leadership of acclaimed Chef Steven Greene. Morton also spent time as chef tournant at Chicago’s famed Alinea restaurant and worked under Scott Crawford at The Georgian Room at the Cloister Hotel.

The pastry program, led by executive pastry chef Anna Abram, includes a variety of freshly baked goods from breakfast pastries, seasonal donuts and house-made English muffins to cookies, cakes, pies, tarts, and brownies. Overseeing the front of house, general manager Christa Polinsky regulates the retail selections, which range from cookbooks and essential kitchen gadgets to locally made products and useful gifts for the home cook.

Long communal tables fill the space between the open kitchen with a 10-seat chef’s counter and the centralized coffee bar with an overhanging marquee “Café” sign. The building’s original beams with markings from Miller & Kelly Charleston, South Carolina, 1881, support the structure and complement the hardwood floors and industrial lighting, highlighting the authenticity of the space. In addition to the custom-built retail cabinets, refrigerated cases line the walls holding refreshments, wine, beer, and frozen treats. Starting later in the fall, the versatile space will be utilized for guest chef dinners, pop-up tastings, cooking demonstrations and book signings with local and regional culinary professionals.

“In 2008 I walked into the Dean & DeLuca on Broadway in SoHo and was totally blown away. I was immediately inspired by this concept and have since visited similar food halls in Florence, Barcelona, Chicago, Napa, Sonoma, and San Francisco,” says Steve Palmer, managing partner of The Indigo Road. “At Mercantile and Mash we’ve created an outlet inspired by our travels but tailored to celebrate the local Charleston community and deliver an authentic taste of our city.”

Located adjacent to Mercantile is Mash, a cozy American whiskey and beer bar with a crafted selection of domestic whiskeys and local beers led by bar managers Jeremiah Schenzel, who is also bar manager of the Cocktail Club, and Teddy Nixon. The current menu boasts more than 120 American whiskeys and that number is expected to grow. In addition, the cocktail program is small but highly elevated and includes the “Mash Old Fashioned,” a traditional old fashioned cocktail with their staff-selected 4 Roses single barrel from Kentucky and exclusive only to Mash, as well as the “La Ville Rose” for the lighter palate made with Cathead Vodka, watermelon, mint, lime, and tarragon-lemon coconut oil made in-house.

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