Audrey Mercado is a barista and co-founder of Rind, a pop-up bar run by and for People of Colour (POC).
“I’m personally not a party person,” Mercado says. “It started as a really chill cocktail night, and it evolved into this crazy dance party.
“It went super well. I thought maybe 50 people would show up, at most, and that we just needed a small space. But 300 people showed up. It was pretty well received and so fun. I never imagined it would grow this big this fast!”
Mercado says she spends 75 per cent of her time in her downtown home, with the other 25 per cent spent at her parents’ place.
“It’s an Asian thing,” Mercado says with a laugh.
“This space is pretty frickin’ cute. I’ve only been in it for a week. (My partner and I) were eyeing an apartment on Kennedy, but we didn’t get it. We had kind of lost hope, but then we saw this place. Twelve hours after applying, we found out we got it. It happened really quickly. I like this neighbourhood a lot. The tennis court down the street makes me really excited for the summer, and those movie nights on Memorial!”
Mercado describes her decorative style as a “broke version of mid-century modern,” complete with wood panelling, accents and furniture.
“It reminds me of back home (in the Philippines). We have an ancestral house in the Mercado family line. Everything in it’s made out of wood. It was built in the ’40s. I lived there for a couple of years, so being surrounded by wood just reminds me of home.”
That ’70s Wall
“This is what sold me on the place. I swear if this wasn’t here, I might not have taken the apartment. The landlord was saying that they almost took this down, but she had to fight for it. She was like, ‘millenials like this, don’t take it out!’”
Death & Co.
“This is my all-time favourite cocktail book. When we were planning (the first) Rind event, this was the book I bought. I didn’t know shit about drinks, and was like, I’m gonna learn.”
A Tiny Buddha
“It’s for good luck. Hopefully this apartment has some luck imbued in it. It looks like it’s living in a little forest.”
“This is a Filipino gin. I love it because it’s so tacky, the angel and the devil fighting on there.”
“It’s so cheesy. It’s full of encouragement notes from high school. I used to be religious and went to a Christian school. They love encouragements, so they gave me some, I guess. They all say things like ‘I’m praying for you!’ and ‘You’re a great disciple!’”
Every year, they picked two students to receive this thing called the Christian Character Award, and I got picked one year. When they found out that I’m not religious anymore and throw parties for fun, they took my name down from the Christian Character wall ‘cause I’m the devil.”
“I had this urge to feel tacky, so I thrifted this Labatt thing. I like old brewery branding. And then I was going through a rough patch in a relationship, and I made these funny stitched things.”