By Scott Etkin
After 15 years, The Mermaid Inn is closing its doors at 570 Amsterdam Avenue (between 87th and 88th Streets) on October 16th. Owner-operators Danny Abrams and Cindy Smith reached an agreement with the building’s new owners to terminate the lease “due to uncertainty surrounding potential work on the building that might block the restaurant with scaffolding,” a representative of Mermaid Inn wrote to WSR.
Abrams and Smith plan to relocate The Mermaid Inn elsewhere on the Upper West Side and hope to be open by late spring or early summer.
The decision comes at a time of other developments happening for the New England-style seafood chain. Earlier this month, they re-opened their original East Village location, which was closed for two years due to the pandemic. “When we decided to give the keys back to the landlord, we thought it was over, that we would never be back here and to be back makes it feel like we’ve now come full circle,” Smith said. The East Village location originally opened in 2003.
Mermaid Inn will also soon open a large restaurant in Times Square (127 West 43rd Street). About half of the 550 seats will open by the end of October, with the rest to follow in early 2023. Staff at the closing UWS location were offered jobs at the new one in Times Square.
The Mermaid Inn has been a staple on the UWS for years, with an especially popular happy hour featuring discounted oysters. “At this point, The Mermaid Inn is pretty much synonymous with solid, not trying-too-hard first date spot,” writes The Infatuation.
The chain also has locations in Greenwich Village and Chelsea.
The Mermaid Inn has always had a Times Square vibe, I’m sure they’ll do well there
I actually think the opposite. I was shocked that they are opening there. It has a low key, neighborhood vibe, not a Times Square vibe. I’m sure it will do fine there but it was surprising.
I have been going to the UWS Mermaid Inn since it first opened. I’m not a big seafood eater but I have still been a fan. They have made some adjustments to the menu over the years that I have not been supportive of, but overall I think it is a great spot and hope they re-open soon, hopefully not too far away from their current location.
Where you lead, I will follow – but please don’t take too long – and stay close!
Really hope they stay in the 80s/90s neighborhood. A place like Mermaid with the loyal patronage they have could be a major step in getting tenants back to the wasteland that is Broadway. Fingers crossed!
Sad to see them close this location and also hope they resurrect in the 80s/90s soon but I do love to see someone fight back against the scaffolding. It’s been discussed before but there’s so little drive to get this scaffolding taken down after it goes up
Now THAT is a sidewalk shed done well.
A spot for special occasions for me, always good and always had a nice time going there, no matter who I brought! I went there every so often the entire time they were there and really appreciated the consistency. I also hope they stay in the 80’s.
I love seafood but I never cared for their menu.
I grew up in New England and was so excited to hear that there was a New England seafood restaurant in our neighborhood. Sadly, just because it serves fish that is caught on the east coast does not make it a New England Seafood restaurant. I went with two others who were also born and brought up there, and we all looked for familiar items on the menu. Aside from the chowder and lobster roll, which was disappointing, there were no TYPICAL New England items…fried clams, clam cakes, baked stuffed shrimp, stuffed quahogs, steamed, broiled or baked stuffed lobster just to name a few.
Maybe just call it a Seafood Restaurant, and drop the New England.
I’m really glad they don’t serve any of that.
I like the news that a buyer took this five story, nondescript building and is extensively renovating it. That kind of investment shows confidence in the future of our neighborhood.
If Mermaid is choosing to relocate, I don’t have a lot of confidence in that owner. I think there are a lot of landlords subsidizing mediocre family ventures by overcharging rent for actually good, popular restaurants. I’m disappointed to see Kirsch and Mermaid go while all these less appealing restaurants on Amsterdam miraculously stay in business.
Are they renovating, or razing? I live next door, and I’m very concerned about years of noise, vermin and possibly losing a window. I can’t find any information.
Very sad about this, but hopefully they’ll reopen as planned! We need you on the UWS, Mermaid Inn! Especially higher up near the 90’s!!
That strecth of Amsterdam Ave. is nasty . Even worse since the pandemic. Clean it up and bring them back
what a great place. It was amazing. so sad for the neighborhood.