The Mermaid has been a staple of Hermosa Beach nightlife since 1950, but the sun has set on the boisterous beachside dive bar for the last time. Several attempts to save the spot over recent years ultimately proved no match for rising rent costs, changing tastes, and a looming project that is expected to bring a major redevelopment to Hermosa Beach.
In 2013 the complex along the Strand and Pier Plaza that housed the Mermaid and several other local businesses was purchased by the Strand Pier Holding Company. The Killer Shrimp Restaurant Group rented a space next to the Mermaid, and then eventually took over the Mermaid, but by that point rumors were already swirling that the property was likely to be part of an overhaul project set to include a new hotel, shops, and restaurants.
According to The Beach Reporter, the Mermaid was operating on a month-to-month lease with a clause that gave the landlord the right to give just 30 days of notice to evict the restaurant and potentially begin demolition. That sense of uncertainty butted up against an estimated $800,000 that Killer Shrimp would have to invest to upgrade the facility and meet local codes. Already on the rocks, the Mermaid went through a tough 2016, and then was hit again this summer when Hermosa Beach officials denied its application to rent its parking lot for private events—something that had previously brought in a much-needed $40,000 to $50,000 per summer—and its application to have a DJ perform for patrons.
With things looking dire for the business, Killer Shrimp made the call to close up shop at the Mermaid a few weeks ago, rather than try to struggle through another winter season. The group continues to operate its other location in Marina del Rey
City officials tell The Beach Reporter that they don’t yet have a timeline for the Hermosa Beach redevelopment project, but the did say that an environmental impact report has been drafted and is under review. Previous reporting by The Daily Breeze linked the new owners of the Mermaid complex to BOLOUR Associates, who released a statement saying they intend to construct a 104-room luxury hotel to anchor a brand new mixed-use development. The hotel, one of few in the area that will be able to boast direct beach access, will be operated by the Oregon-based Provenance, which currently lists an opening date of 2020 on its website.