Thursday, April 22, 2021

Report: Mermaid Inn plans to reopen, though the SLA isn't helping

[Photo from Aug. 22]

Co-owners Daniel Abrams and Cindy Smith have plans to reopen the Mermaid Inn, the seafood-centric restaurant that closed late last summer after 17 years on Second Avenue between Fifth Street and Sixth Street.

However, as Abrams tells the Post, a stringent State Liquor Authority law is delaying the reopening.

Under current law, new or revived restaurants and pubs outside New York City can obtain a temporary liquor permit within 30 days, while the State Liquor Authority reviews an applicant’s request for full license — a process that could take anywhere from four to six months.
... unlike their peers in other parts of the state, Big Apple restaurants that want to open or reopen are barred under the law from obtaining a temporary permit to sell booze pending the SLA’s months-long review on whether to provide a two-year license to sell liquor.


The more restrictive treatment of city restaurants under the state alcohol and beverage control law is a result of complaints from city residents and lawmakers who railed against the proliferation of bars in certain neighborhoods, sources familiar with the law said.

According to Abrams, alcohol sales account for 40 percent of a restaurant's revenues. 

"What's the purpose of opening a restaurant without serving alcohol? If you can't offer a glass of wine with the oysters, diners will go somewhere else," he said.

Abrams decided to reopen the Mermaid Inn after renegotiating a lease with the landlord and seeing "more foot traffic and economic activity."


JM said...

Always loved the Mermaid. We were heartbroken when it announced its closing. As we got older, it became one of the few restaurants we went to, especially once the garden was open. There aren't a lot of place with a multi-generational clientele, even if theirs has skewed pretty young for years (doesn't everything?). Old timers are not unusual and never feel out of place.

I hope they can straighten the mess out quickly and reopen.

nichole said...

This is the best news ever!!! The Mermaid Inn has always been our go-to date night spot. So thankful it's returning!!

Neighbor said...

The state and city seriously need to cut through the red tape for places reopening. Fine if we want to debate more liquor licenses generally but places that previously operated and closed due to covid should be given a very easy path to getting the license back

Anonymous said...

Weird that sports chainy spots like that fox place can get re-upped toots sweet but a smaller spot has to jump through hoops i know that mermaid has other locations in the city so they're like a mini chain either way SLA and community board need to help the respectful owners and phase out the one's that do not give a hoot about anything but their profits neighbor noise issues and other complaints be damned. The East Village is not and should not be allowed to be made into Bourbon Street and never was as loud and obnoxious as it's been

Anonymous said...

Glad they're finally caring about the complaints, but Mermaid Inn is NOT one of the problems. It's the fratty douche bullshit.