Albeit short in length - barely 170 meters - the street naturally mixes different spheres and nationalities. While it remains the haunt of artisans, the old shops now welcome fashion designers, scrumptious cafes and coffee shops, all in a simple and refined style. An authenticness that Merci is known for.
At 1: Massato, we no longer need to introduce this Japanese hairdresser whose stylish cuts have become well-known over the decades, on the heads of stars and top models. The recently established second salon, located in a former dairy-grocery store, is specialised in colour and to be thought of as a gallery or an artist's workshop. Tel: 01 48 04 72 59
At 4 : Officine Générale is the brand by designer Pierre Mahéo, inspired by the relaxed elegance of the Nouvelle Vague. He exclusively creates male clothes, which are basic, easy to wear, well cut with high quality English, Italian and Japanese fabrics and made in Portugal. A sober and tasteful spirit inhabits this 100 square meter space. Tel: 01 86 95 29 49.
At 6 : Sessùn, the brand by stylist Emma François, whose calling came at a market in Guatemala when she was a student studying anthropology. Seduced by colourful and embroidered fabrics, she created her company in Marseille in 1994, where she currently lives. This second boutique in Paris is as simple and refined as the clothing she creates. Tel: 01 53 69 06 34.
At 13 and 15 : Tartaix, specialist in brass and metal, has retained its unique decor which dates to its founding in 1919. As the walls are covered with shelves and small wooden drawers, the window display make passersby travel through time or dream of becoming a craftsman who melds with steel, copper and zinc.
At 19 : Le Boot Café, while no longer a shoemaker’s shop, still displays the sign of its previous owner. This mini 4 square meter shop (perhaps the smallest in the capital) arranges a few stools on the sidewalk when the weather allows it. Important detail: its coffee comes from the famous Brûlerie de Belleville and its pastries from the excellent Emperor Norton. Tel: 01 73 70 14 57 or 06 26 4110 66.
At 10 : Boutique Générale is the small shop by Delphine Bensemhoun, a fashion buyer who turned to interior design following a trip to Mali which sparked her interest in the country’s artisanal pottery. There is also pottery from the Burgundian Manufacture of Digoin, a nice selection of Japanese teapots, cushions from Togo, spoons from Benin, as well as mirrors, jars and jam jars that she bargain-hunts. Tel: 09 52 90 08 38.
At 18 : Pontochoux, the new address by Taeko, who has been feeding the neighborhood for eight years with a stall at the Marché des Enfants-Rouges. Along with her husband Philippe Heumann, Taeko has just opened this small canteen, where they serve a variety of curries (fried chicken, breaded pork, etc.), Japan’s famous national dish. Béatrice Valentine Amrhein, a visual designer, helped transform the 19 square meters into a festive (food truck inspired) space. A stunning decor- one bright and wavy plastic wall, another with blackboard paint to feature the menu and a railway crossing counter. Tel: 09 96 70 77 00. Closed on Monday.
At 20 : Rachel’s Bakery, a deli grocery store, like in New York, features an impressive selection of products made in the USA: dried meats, smoked fish, fresh sandwich with homemade bread, bagels, crackers, and desserts, including Rachel's famous cheesecake. There is even an electric barbecue to prepare a hot dog. Tel: 01 44 61 69 68.
At 25 : Rachel’s, American cuisine in all its forms: the Wild Rice from Minnesota, the Black Angus Hanger Steak from Kansas, the Po'Boy, a typical New Orleans sandwich, and scrumptious desserts, including a variety of cheesecakes. Everything we love about cooking in the United States from an Ohioan whose food is ultra-fresh and homemade. The decor ressembles a revamped Viennese café, created by Dorothée Meilichzon who likes to mix styles, times and materials. Tel: 01 44 61 69 68.