Mermaid Inn Parts With Chef Matthew Schaefer, Plans Raw Bar?

Photo: Shanna Ravindra

We’ve learned that Matthew Schaefer, who took over at the Mermaid Inn’s East Village location after leaving Bussaco, has split with the restaurant. The Mermaid’s rep won’t say who initiated the departure, but gave us a statement from owner Danny Abrams indicating that Schaefer “wasn’t the right fit for the Mermaid” and wishing him luck with future endeavors. (Guess that fried-chicken experiment didn’t pay off.) The Mermaid is currently looking for a replacement. Meanwhile, an employee at the restaurant tells us that Abrams is working on a raw-bar concept for the former Smith’s space. Reps can confirm only that a “Mermaid-related project” will open in the space this fall.