The Mermaid Inn’s main East Village location will shutter after 17 years, though its other locations will remain open…for now.
As you can probably tell from its name, The Mermaid Inn was a seafood restaurant, known for its affordability and oyster happy hour deals. Owners Daniel Abrams and Cindy Smith shared the news with Eater earlier this week, even writing a three-page letter detailing exactly why they had to close.
It mostly involved being unable to reach a reasonable agreement with their landlord on rent, but also explained how insignificant the government’s PPP loans ended up being in the long run. They also showed how much money they invested in the NYC economy over the past 17 years, from hiring vendors to staff, to demonstrate how much closures like theirs will impact the city financially.
“We are providing these numbers to show the effect the closing of a SINGLE restaurant has. Now multiply that by THOUSANDS of NYC restaurants closing,” they wrote. “The loss of opportunity for employees, the loss of income for city, state and local governments, the loss of sales to our fish companies, our vegetable company, the linen company, even the company that comes to take our used oyster shells or our discarded grease. If we don’t pay them, they do not pay their employees and so on and so on. The chain is never ending.”
You can read a copy on their website here.
The East Village location shut down in March because of the pandemic, and didn’t reopen for takeout or delivery because the owners said it wasn’t profitable. They also didn’t open for outdoor dining because they had limited sidewalk space.
They also have locations in Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and the Upper West Side, but only the Upper West Side location is currently open (for outdoor dining).
It’s definitely another sad sad loss for the NYC restaurant scene.
featured image source: Instagram / @themermaidnyc