This morning, Mermaid Inn owner Danny Abrams confirmed earlier talk that his restaurant space at 79 MacDougal Street, formerly Smith's, will reopen in early September as the Mermaid Oyster Bar, an offshoot of his seafood shack, Mermaid Inn. The name is tentative, but the concept is mostly set: "Focus on raw bar, smaller menu, lots of sharing, subtle design changes, different colors," as Abrams described it via e-mail. Laurence Edelman (see also, ChefEdelman), chef at the Upper West Side outpost of Mermaid, will act as the consulting chef and be in charge of the kitchen here, too. From where we're sitting, it was a shame to see Smith's go (that $35 chicken dinner was for real), but Mermaid is a workhorse restaurant, the right idea for right now: The downtown set is nothing if not a huge sucker for a good lobster roll and beer one-two.
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