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Mermaid Inn
Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

The iconic Mermaid Inn on the Upper West Side is officially closing

There's no reason to despair, though!

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

We've got some good news, some not-so-great news and some we're-not-sure-how-we-feel-about this updates.

Let's start with the sad part: the iconic Upper West Side location of the Mermaid Inn at 570 Amsterdam Avenue near West 88th Street will officially shutter on October 16 after 15 years in business.

Pretty surprisingly, though, the closing doesn't have anything to do with COVID-19 (this is the "we're not sure how we feel about this" portion of the news). West Side Rag reports that the closure is due to "uncertainty surrounding potential work on the building that might block the restaurant with scaffolding." According to the outlet, owners Danny Abrams and Cindy Smith reached an agreement with the building's owner to terminate the lease because of the work.

That's all for the better as the operators have revealed that they're planning on opening a new location of the beloved seafood restaurant in the same neighborhood by late spring or early summer of this year. 

"We've been here for 15 years, celebrated birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and holidays with our guests up here and it feels like they're family — so we wanted to continue to service the Upper West Side," Abrams said to Patch regarding the news. "It's just a good place to be."

But there's more: the original East Village outpost of the New England-style chain, which first debuted back in 2003, re-opened after a two-year-long pandemic-fueled hiatus earlier this month. 

In perhaps even better news, a giant Mermaid Inn is set to debut in Times Square at 127 West 43rd Street between 6th and 7th Avenues some time soon. "About half of the 550 seats will open by the end of October, with the rest to follow in early 2023," reports West Side Rag.

In an honorable turn of events, the staff currently working at the closing location on the Upper West Side is actually being offered jobs at the new midtown destination, which adds itself to the roster of locations that the company already operates in Greenwich Village and Chelsea.

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