Exciting new tenants are coming to Merge Carmel Valley — including The Barrel Room wine bar, an artisan coffee shop and high-end hair and nail salons. The mixed-use center is uniquely modern atop Carmel Country Road and Carmel Mountain Road, utilizing lots of large glass windows, a mix of stone and wood details and a flat roof. There are trellises over the wide sidewalk spaces on Carmel Mountain Road, where the restaurant and coffee shop will be able to spill out into landscaped patios.
Originally Merge envisioned residential units over retail and a large central green area but residents opposed the plan. Seabreeze Properties’ revised project put retail on the ground floor with office space above — there is a back parking lot as well as a parking garage. The project’s residential component was sold off and built seperately — Carmel Row next door features 22 modern city homes with garages pulled away from the units to create small rear yards.
The project is accessible from entrances on Dry Cliff Trail and Corum Court.
“We’re trying to provide a merge of businesses that feed off one another,” said Darren Levitt of Sea Breeze Properties.
Three tenants are open so far with Little Star Pediatric Dentistry, Carmel Valley Dentist Office and Orthodontics, and Coastal Skin and Eye Institute.
Carmel Valley Dentist Office was the first tenant to open in Merge, with Dr. John Nosti and Dr. Shawna Fariba offering full-service dental and orthodontia care. At Little Star, Dr. Najmeh Hannanvash specializes in surgeries on newborn babies born with tied tongues and lips. The very sensitive, “profoundly rewarding” surgeries are being performed nearly non-stop in the new clinic.
Upstairs, Coastal Skin and Eye Institute is run by the husband-wife team of Drs. Christopher and Michelle Crosby with Dr. Maki Christine Goskowicz. They specialize in everything related to the skin and eye, including general dermatology, cosmetic and laser dermatology, skin cancer checks and painless mole removal, cataract and refractive surgery and diabetic eye disease management in treatment.
The second prime corner on the east has not yet leased but Levitt said they are in talks with a group of ballet studios that might take several spaces. Office spaces in Merge are designed to flexible, allowing for creative and collaborative configurations for tenants. An office space still vacant upstairs features a large balcony with views all the way out to the Cuyamaca mountains.
The coffee shop will be located downstairs and Merge has signed a high-end hair salon with a boutique run by a stylist with over 18 years of experience and a dedicated following — her best friend will run a high-end nail salon next door where women will be able to get their manicures with a glass of wine.
The corner spot on the far west is reserved for The Barrel Room, set to open by fall. The vintage wine bar and bistro, which also has a location in Rancho Bernardo, offers wine by the glass, flight or bottle and casually elegant dining.
“We’re very excited for The Barrel Room. This is going to a be a home run in terms of location,” Levitt said, noting most restaurants in Carmel Valley are in centers with huge parking lots, which he thinks strips away a lot of the character. “We’re hopeful that what we’ve created, the look and feel of the building, will attract the clientele and bring us closer to a more urban, walkable community.”