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UWS Mermaid Inn Moving Next Door, New Italian Spot Opening in its Place

By Emily Frost | May 14, 2015 6:21pm
 The Mermaid Inn is moving one door north to fill the space vacated by Mamajuana Cafe.
The Mermaid Inn is moving one door north to fill the space vacated by Mamajuana Cafe.
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DNAinfo/Emily Frost

UPPER WEST SIDE — A new Italian restaurant is opening in place of The Mermaid Inn, which will take over the space next door formerly occupied by the now-shuttered Mamajuana Cafe, a lawyer for the restaurant said. 

The Mermaid Inn will move one storefront north to 570 Amsterdam Ave. from its current location between West 87th and 88th streets, said Michael Kelly, the restaurant's lawyer. 

Cindy Smith, who co-manages The Mermaid Inn's Upper West Side outpost with her husband, owner Danny Abrams, will open and run a new restaurant in place of the seafood spot, Kelly said.

The new venture does not have a name yet and the details are still being worked out, the lawyer noted.

"[The food is] a work in progress, but everything on the menu now is somewhat Italian," he added. 

Community Board 7's Business and Consumer Issues committee recommended approving a liquor license for the space Wednesday. The restaurant still needs approval by the full board and the State Liquor Authority before Smith can serve alcohol.

The committee also OK'd Abrams for a liquor license to operate the relocated Mermaid Inn. 

Mamajuana, the 150-seat Latin and Carribean restaurant, was closed and was seized by the City Marshal in March, the West Side Rag reported. The Health Department also closed the restaurant twice in 2014, according to records. 

It was unclear when The Mermaid Inn's move to the new space would happen and also when the Italian-themed restaurant would open. 

Abrams and Smith did not immediately return a request for comment. 

The Mermaid Inn has expanded over the years, first with its East Village location, and then on Amsterdam Avenue in 2007 and Greenwich Village in 2009. 

► Tolani, the South African wine bar on Amsterdam Avenue near West 80th Street, is changing its name and its menu, the owner said.

Stanton Du Toit is renaming the spot Thanda, which he describes as "a South African restaurant with a little bit of a different menu." 

Thanda means "love" in Zulu, one of the languages spoken in the country. 

A new partner, Warren Adams, will help run the new restaurant, he said. 

Du Toit declined to comment further on the new restaurant or on Adams' involvement. Adams could not be reached for comment. 

The Business and Consumer Issues committee approved Du Toit's application Wednesday for a new liquor license, which he still needs approved by the full board and SLA.