[Photo from Aug. 22]
Several readers have noted activity at the currently closed Mermaid Inn on Second Avenue... workers were spotted removing equipment from the casual seafood restaurant here between Fifth Street and Sixth Street.
The interior is now empty...
The East Village location is no longer on the Mermaid Inn's website; the phone is not in service. Mermaid Inn reps did not respond to requests for information about the Second Avenue outpost. Three other Mermaid Inn locations are currently open.
The Mermaid Inn arrived in the East Village back in 2003.
As we were writing this up yesterday Eater confirmed the closure.
Co-owner Daniel Abrams and partner Cindy Smith decided to close the restaurant in the wake of failed attempts to reach a workable rent deal with the location's landlord amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
"The situation is untenable," Abrams says in a phone interview. "The PPP has run out. There's no money to pay landlords. We go to landlords like beggars hoping they'll give us a handout."
Abrams also wrote an open farewell letter, which includes this passage:
We are sharing this information to illustrate what ONE SINGLE RESTAURANT adds to its community and to the city. Many restaurants have closed since COVID and many more will close as the pandemic continues. The ripple effect will be incalculable.
Over the years The Mermaid Inn on Second Ave has:
• Welcomed over 850,000 guests
• Paid over $15M in wages to our more than 3000 employees who have spent Ime with us
• Contributed more than $2.1M in taxes to the city, the state, Medicare, SS, UI, etc
• Sent in excess of 4M in Sales Tax to NYS
• Paid over 15M to our hundreds of hard working vendors
• Given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the city and state for permits, licenses, etc
We are providing these numbers to show the effect the closing of a SINGLE restaurant has. Now mulIply that by THOUSANDS of NYC restaurants closing. 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.