What to do with an extra 15,000 Square Foot Restaurant.
Phone a friend and collaborate.
Here’s a fun story.
During the pandemic, Jeff Bank, the owner of Carmine’s and Virgil’s BBQ, had an epiphany. He was sitting outside, having happy hour oysters with his family at the popular Mermaid Inn on the Upper West Side, a place he loved owned by longtime industry pals Cindy Smith and Danny Abrams. It was around his sixth or seventh oyster that his mind drifted to the extra 15,000 square foot restaurant in the Theater District he happened to have. The restaurant, the former Heartland Brewery space, was empty, and he really didn’t know what to do with it. (How he wound up with an extra restaurant is another day’s story.)
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And then he thought: I have a great space, Cindy and Danny have a hugely successful and popular concept with The Mermaid Inn, and Times Square doesn’t have a great oyster bar. He had his Aha! Moment. He reached out with his freshly hatched idea, and asked if they’d like to collaborate. They were game, and now finally, the day is here. Get ready for a super-sized Midtown location of the Mermaid Oyster Bar!
The new outpost, a joint venture between owners Danny Abrams and Cindy Smith, and Jeff Bank’s Alicart Restaurant Group, brings a fabulous new option for theater diners (like me) who’d like to have a glass of wine and raw bar before or after a show, or those who crave something more substantial, but still casual and relaxed.
The restaurant will offer the restaurant’s fan-favorite oyster happy hour, an massive raw bar glistening with mollusks and shellfish, and a roster of Chef Michael Cressotti’s signature coastal fare. He’s serving Mermaid classics like Lobster Knuckles “Escargot-Style”, Mermaid Fish Tacos, Linguine & Clams, and Tuna Crudo; as well as new dishes like Pan-Roasted Chatham Cod, Whole Mediterranean Branzino, Chilled Jonah Crab Claws, Shanghai Spare Ribs, and Maryland Crab Cakes. Cocktails match the seaside vibe with a paper-umbrella worthy selection of drinks like the Mezcal Pineapple Mule, a Blood Orange Cosmo, and my fave, a Jalepeño Guava Margarita.
Now, go to the theater (if you haven’t seen Six, it’s a blast), and have some dinner!
The Mermaid Oyster Bar Times Square is open daily from 4 pm to 11 pm and reservations can be made by phone at (332) 208-7713, and on OpenTable.