The Mermaid Inn is headed to Times Square with its largest location to date. The seafood restaurant with locations in Chelsea, Greenwich Village, and on the Upper West Side is planning to open in a space that formerly housed an outpost of Heartland Brewery, a craft beer institution that closed ahead of the pandemic. The New York Post first reported news of the expansion.
The new restaurant will open at 127 West 43rd Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues, next spring, according to a representative. The location will be the team’s biggest yet, measuring in at a gargantuan 15,500-square-feet with room for approximately 550 seats.
For the opening, owners Danny Abrams and Cindy Smith are teaming up with Jeffrey Bank, the CEO of Alicart Restaurant Group, which owns nine restaurants across the country including outposts of Carmine’s and Virgil’s BBQ in Manhattan. Abrams and Smith, who typically self fund their openings, have tapped $3 million from international investors for the Times Square expansion, according to the Post.
The announcement comes on the heels of the return of the Mermaid Inn at 227 10th Avenue, between 23rd and 24th streets, in Chelsea, which opened one week before the onset of the pandemic and returned this month following a 19-month closure. The team’s outpost in the East Village, which appeared to have closed last year, is now slated to reopen at the same location next spring, according to Abrams.
It’s a big win for a neighborhood that’s been slow to bounce back during the pandemic due to lower tourism numbers and the temporary shutdown of Broadway. As many as 250,000 people pass through the neighborhood each day, up from 35,000 in March and April of last year, according to the Post. In addition to the Mermaid Inn, USA Brooklyn Delicatessen, Brooklyn Chop House, and a 24/7 Chinese restaurant looking to become the Shake Shack of dim sum have announced expansions in the area.
Abrams opened the original location of the Mermaid Inn in 2003 in the East Village. He and Smith followed up with a second outpost on the Upper West Side in 2007, and in 2009, the duo expanded to Greenwich Village with the Mermaid Oyster Bar, a raw bar offshoot that relocated a few doors down earlier this summer. The Times Square outpost will be the team’s fourth location, not including the East Village reopening.