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.