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01/24/14 Mercado San Cosme

Countless good ideas in history sprung from a drink or two. The idea to put up one of Berlin’s first mezcarlerias for tastings of the agave-derived Mexican liquor started, naturally, with a bottle of Mezcal San Cosme. Constructed by the same design studio behind the artisanal mezcal’s award-winning packaging, Mercado San Cosme offers beer-clinging Berlinites a potent booze alternative and acts as an embassy to spread awareness about contemporary Mexican design.

Mercado bar

“We wanted to show the face of Mexico that not everybody knows,” says Mercado San Cosme’s Alex Baumueller of the year-old space, which also sells a slick array of innovative Mexican products boasting a spin on traditional materials, from bags to cookware. “We wanted to change the typical sombrero-donkey-tequila idea that people have about Mexico by giving a space for new, young Mexico.”

Mercado cactus wall

Mercado store

Berlin’s Mitte district, a neighborhood simmering with international and independent enterprise was an ideal location for the concept. “Mitte has been drastically evolving in the last couple years. It’s a great location for art, design, and fashion. We believe that Rosenthal-Platz is our home,” says Baumueller of the street that once housed an old butcher shop his design studio would transform into the Mercado. As the neighborhood has become a capital for cultural crossbreeding, Mercado San Cosme continues bringing in artist ambassadors from the homeland through pop-up exhibitions. “One of the coolest exhibitions so far was from character designer El Grand Chamaco,” Bauemueller says of the Mexican artist who flew in from a small town in Nuevo Leon to exhibit a visual assault of 3D illustrations at Berlin’s Pictoplasma Festival. “We select artists that stand for the modern face of Mexico. Although sometimes, we will get ones that want to break a piñata and sing mariachi melodies,” Bauemueller shares, laughing.

Location: Mitte, Berlin

Neighborhood Recommendation: “The ChénChè tea house around the corner is a new favorite‑a nice and relaxing place,” says Bauemueller.

Mercado testing area