Marche in Uptown is now 'Mercado by Earl Giles' with tacos and tequila

Marche will now be Mercado.

Marche will now be Mercado. Photo courtesy of Mercado by Earl Giles

Marche, the space by Jester Concepts (Borough, Coup d'Etat, Monello), began as a fancy sandwich emporium and bakery.

Then it changed to become more of a fancy amenity for Lime Apartment building dwellers (but still open to the public), with coffee, wine, cocktails, and a few sandwiches and snackers.

Change is afoot again. Marche will now be "Mercado by Earl Giles." 

Who is this Earl Giles, whose name sounds more like an English tea than a taqueria proprietor?

It's a mashup of the middle names of Jeff Erkkila and Jesse Held, the latter a longtime big name in local Twin Cities cocktaildom and bar director for Jester.

Erkkila is owner/operator of Mercado at Earl Giles. 

Watch for the Earl Giles name popping up on bar menus around town the same way you've become indoctrinated to expect to see Bittercube on a hip cocktail list.

Erkkila says he's wintered in Sayulita, Mexico for a lot of years, and the menu at Mercado will be a compendium of taco and torta recipes he's picked up along the way, like a Jalisco stewed lamb shank with heavy spice and heavy tomato. 

They're starting out with a limited menu, expanding in the coming weeks. 

On the bar side, look for an ever-growing tequila, mezcal, and raicilla (some think of it as Mexican moonshine) list. They're also playing around with single-source tea blends in vodka infuisions, and Erkkila recommends one of these taken simply with soda water.

Expect cocktails in the $6 to $10 range, and tacos at $5 to $6. 

The fancy Francophilian chalkboards have come off the walls, and instead they're going for more of a "greenhouse effect," making Mercado a good choice to get a little relief from winter if you're not lucky enough to scoot off to Mexico for the deep freeze. 

And here's an offer you shouldn't be able to resist: Bring in that old houseplant you've never been qualified to properly take care of, and Mercado will take it off of your hands in exchange for a free drink. 

Now open. 

2904 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis