Aaron Mattison, CFO and cofounder of Bar Vegan, launched a pop-up French bar at Ponce City Market last week, and it’s about as different from Bar Vegan as it could get. A “boho, feel-good” spot called Excuse My French, it was inspired by Mattison’s Parisian travels when he was in business school.
“I remember the number of small, bar-style coffee shops I’d go to and study,” he says. “Citizen Supply [an artisan market where Excuse My French is located] gave me that same feeling, where you can walk around, shop, pull out your notebook, and grab a drink. It’s super relaxing.”
In contrast to Bar Vegan, also on the second floor of Ponce City Market, which defines itself “bar theater,” Excuse My French aims to provide a tranquil respite with a minimalist vibe.
“This is so uniquely different. It’s just meant to be a good neighbor at Ponce while Citizen Supply undergoes a refresh,” Mattison says. (The shop changed ownership in January, with Ponce City Market taking over management from founder Phil Sanders.)
As such, he plans to operate Excuse My French Thursday through Sundays through the end of the summer. On “Sip & Shop Saturdays,” shoppers can enjoy $8 mimosas and a Bellini bar, in addition to menu staples like Kir Royale, French martini, and blueberry French 75. Created by beverage manager Crayton Peterson, the beverage list is as concise as the space. Expect just four wines (including prosecco), three beers, and eight cocktails. By the end of the month, the team will add snacks like peanuts, pretzels, and cheese boards to the offerings. The space currently seats 15 people at the bar. Soon, it will expand to accommodate 22.
Likewise, Bar Vegan is experiencing some changes. On April 28, a new menu will launch featuring old favorites, plus additions like Brussels sprouts, onion rings, flatbreads, pastas, salads, and shrimp tacos.
“I’m excited to show people how far the food program here has come,” Mattison says.
Bar Vegan will also feature decor enhancements, such as new lighting fixtures, a wine wall, and additional lounge seating. Look for a new experiential drink menu on Memorial Day weekend.
View the full menu below. (Tap to enlarge.)