If you’re planning a night out on the town and Seminole Heights is the destination, then your choices of where to go just got better. The former Seminole Heights Lounge has been renovated and is now home to the Mermaid Tavern, a craft beer and wine establishment.
6719 N. Nebraska Ave.
Hours: Open daily 4:30p.m. – 3:00a.m.
Owners: Lux DeVoid and Becky Flanders
Back in the Business: DeVoid once owned a nightclub in New Orleans and always dreamed of getting back into the bar business. So when the Seminole Heights location became available, he approached Flanders with the idea of opening a bar. At the time she thought he was crazy. As she stated, “he dragged me kicking and screaming.”
Being completely immersed in the renovations and running a bar has had its challenges. “We’ve had it out at times but we work really well together," said Flanders.
"We’ve found," said DeVoid, "that when we compromise the solutions together are a lot of times better than our original ideas.” Eight months later and the couple couldn’t be happier with their decision.
Frustrated by the lack of a centralized meeting place, the couple chose the Seminole Heights location because they believe in the neighborhood and the growth that’s taking place. Their goal is for the tavern to be a community hot spot that engenders social mingling.
What’s In a Name: When asked why they named the bar the Mermaid
Tavern, DeVoid explained that he chose it because of the dual historical
meaning. They wanted to encompass both the fanciful nature of Old Florida and the shipwreck-themed bars of the 1950s and ‘60s like the Yankee Clipper, which featured live "mermaids" swimming behind the bar. Secondly, the Mermaid Tavern was the name of the London pub that Shakespeare and other artists spent time in. Since this tavern is a meeting spot for local artists, the name made sense.
The Place Has Character: When they found the building, it was suffering from neglect and needed a lot of work. During the renovations they tried to save whatever character they could from the original '50s redwood frame building. Some of the original flooring remains, and they also left the chrome disco ceiling, which, when lit up, makes you feel like you’re underwater. The motif is a cross between mid-century modern and tiki lounge with a little bit of Spanish Moroccan revival. The atmosphere is warm and inviting with an open floor plan designed to encourage socializing. And expansive outdoor deck has also been added.
What’s On Tap: Half of the tavern's daily-rotating 20 taps are dedicated to local breweries. They also serve a wide variety of bottle beers, wine and sake. DeVoid and Flanders plan to serve food in the future. In the meantime, don’t be surprised to see guests noshing on a Stefano’s Pizza, which is only a few minutes away.
Mermaid's Menu: Mon – Fri: Happy Hour (4:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.), $1 off drafts and wine by the glass. Wednesdays: Local resident DJ Sam Esser mixes up the music for Bring Your Own Vinyl Night. Saturdays: DJ Jason Varco spins.