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Marseille Mixes the New with the Familiar

WHEN CHEF BRANDIN MYETT (JUICEBOX, LA BETE) DECIDED TO OPEN MARSEILLE, a 20-seat wine bar and bottle shop inside Seattle’s Melrose Market, he wanted a design that felt both new and as if it had always been there—a cozy space tucked within the Capitol Hill neighborhood food and retail hub. Up for the challenge was local handcrafted furniture company Brackish, helmed by furniture designers Andy Whitcomb and Forest Eckley, whose curated retail shop Glasswing is also located inside the market.

According to Whitcomb, the Brackish team started with “just a small, dark space” in the market’s center (former home to Bar Ferdinand) and addressed its lack of natural light by removing any physical obstructions such as the old bar-height bar and replaced it with a lower counter-height option to improve the sightlines and allow more light to enter the space via its front windows. To help reflect the incoming light, they applied a white, Venetian plaster to the walls and fabricated white marble tabletops. A large, horizontal mirror hangs on the brick wall, which Whitcomb says is strategically angled downward to reflect all the light and activity in the market.

To complement the market’s rustic feel, they selected simple wood and steel materials for the center bar and chairs, then brought in differentiation and newness with curves. “Most of the other tables and chairs in the market are rectilinear,” Whitcomb says. Those arced lines are introduced through rounded marble tabletops and the Calder chair—designed by Whitcomb for Brackish—with its curved Douglas fir seatback bolted to a dramatically bending handmade blackened steel support attached to a steel base. “We want Marseille to bring people closer together and encourage conversation, so standing and sitting areas can expand or contract based on how people need to connect,” he says. “We hope this space entices people to sit down with a friend to share a great bottle of wine.”


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