The crew behind the Paris–based international recognized taqueria and cocktail bar, Candelaria, launched earlier in the year their latest and third project, Le Mary Celeste, also placed in the vibrant haut Marais in Paris, (only a few streets away from Candelaria). Le Mary Celeste is a significant wine bar offering Parisians the possibility to enjoy an evening with great wine, well selected cocktails, and an exquisite food menu including oysters in friendly laid-back and modern surroundings. Metal Magazine had a talk with Joshua Fontaine, Joshua Fontaine about thoughts, passions, motivation and future plans for Le Mary Celeste.
What made you want to create a new restaurant in Paris?
We weren't really looking to do a third place so quickly, but a friend of ours who is in real estate in the Marais, came to us with this great space and we just couldn't say no! Carlos Madriz, another friend of ours, was ready to move on from his job at L'Hôtel in Saint Germain, so we knew that with his help we could pull it off.
What were your thoughts when creating the concept?
We wanted to do something that was a bit opposite to our other places and most other cocktail-focused places in Paris. That is, more open, less "speakeasy" style: a casual, contemporary tavern with great wine, beer, cocktails and food.
How does Le Mary Celeste differentiate from Candelaria and Glass? -or is there a key word that defines all of your places?
As I said before, it's a much more open place, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows on all three sides. It also has a much more integrated food program than the other two. Candelaria is a very casual and tiny taqueria, but totally separate from the bar; Glass only serves (great) hot dogs as bar snacks, but you can't really eat dinner there. At Le Mary Celeste, everything works together, so you can sit at the bar and have a few cocktails and some oysters and just hang with your friends, or sit down at a table, eat a full dinner and have some great wine, too.
How did you get into this business?
Just by chance! My first job was dishwashing and being the night porter at the local restaurant when I was fifteen years old. I came from a very rural area so there weren't many job opportunities for high school kids.
What is your drive behind your passion?
Just to give great hospitality in a fun atmosphere to all our guests. I also really enjoy the camaraderie with other bartenders, bar owners, and chefs around the world. It's like an instant family everywhere you go!
Do you and your partners have a future project goal?
We are always interested and open for new opportunities, but at the moment we are just focusing on our current locations and trying to improve them to make the best workplaces for our staff and therefore the best environments for our guests.
Le Mary Celeste
1 Rue Commines
75003 Paris