New Kid on the Block: Roman and Williams Guild

That Roman and Williams‘s first shop is beautiful comes as no surprise—interior designers Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch are known for their exquisite taste. But Roman and Williams Guild also manages the near-impossible feat of being both drop-dead glamorous and entirely comfortable.

The main thrust of the store, in what used to be a Citibank, on Mercer from Howard to Canal, is Roman and Williams’s furniture collection, of which more than 50 pieces are featured. Then there are objects from artisans from around the world, especially Japan, and products from companies that the firm admires. “We have Sferra linens and Saint-Louis crystal, but we also have glasses you might find on Amazon because they’re good and we like them,” says general manager Katherine Toukatly. “Next to our private-label fur blankets are affordable shearling throws.” While the furniture inventory isn’t likely to change much soon, the auxiliary items and decor will be “ever-changing and evolving.” One can only imagine how liberating it is for interior designers not to have to please a client….

The entrance on Howard Street leads into La Mercerie café (and while you can enter from Canal, this way is significantly prettier). The chef is Marie Aude-Rose, esteemed in her own right and married to Daniel Rose, chef at Le Coucou. Currently, the menu is limited to pastries and coffee drinks from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and cocktails from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., but breakfast, lunch, and dinner should be available by late January. Off to the side of the café is an outpost of Emily Thompson Flowers, which you may have admired at the Seaport; her designs are also featured throughout the Guild.

And that’s not all: By late January, the downstairs level should also be open, with a 22-person private dining room called House of Bowls, Phaidon bookshop, art room, and art-supply shop.

Roman and Williams Guild is at 53 Howard (at Mercer); 212-852-9099;

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